UKHospitality has called for increased government support, reiterating that hospitality jobs can “catalyse” the UK’s economic recovery, and avoid a further rise in unemployment.
Commenting on the spending review announcement, Kate Nicholls, chief executive for UKHospitality, said hospitality jobs are at the “core of the grave unemployment” that is forecasted to occur in the coming months.
Nicholls argued that the sector has shown how hospitality jobs can help deliver economic growth for the economy through schemes such as Help Out To Eat Out.
She added that the government needs to “fill the gap” that was previously filled by the Job Retention Bonus, adding that a solution on rents for the sector needed to be reached.
In addition, she noted that an increase to the National Minimum Wage would benefit workers in the industry, but “only if the businesses that employ them are still around”.
Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector is key in preventing unemployment getting out of control. The sector is being hit hardest by this crisis, but it is also the sector which could lead the recovery of the economy if given the chance.
“As demonstrated after the financial crisis in 2008, we can provide jobs, investment and opportunities in every region of the UK and the economy back up to full speed. If hospitality does not get the support it needs right now, businesses will fold and jobs will be lost.”
She added: “We have already lost 600,000 jobs. Support must be comprehensive and swift if we want to stop that figure from rising and avoid the nightmare of unemployment the Chancellor spoke of.”