Blog: Markets Live: Brexit and pandemic-induced jobs market fallout begins to bite – Investors Chronicle

  • Staffing shortages hit hospitality and hauliers
  • EDF decommissions Dungeness B nuclear power station 
  • British travellers hurry back from Portugal
  • Companies news: Dechra, BATs and more

On a sunny Sunday in rural Suffolk, The Cross Keys Inn was forced to close its doors because it’s one and only bartender went off sick. The staff shortage in the UK’s hospitality industry is already having a significant impact on companies’ turnover – there are currently 180,000 vacancies among pubs, restaurants and hotels, equivalent to 9 per cent of the desired workforce. Many venues which are bursting with demand are having to operate on limited hours because they don’t have enough staff. 

And that is before the inevitable salary hike comes into effect, damaging profits as well. Hotels and pubs in Devon are reportedly offering £250-£1000 sign-up bonuses to new members of staff to help fill vacancies ahead of the summer surge. 

Hospitality is not the only industry to be feeling the heat from a post-pandemic, post-Brexit shift in jobs demand. Hauliers are facing an acute shortage of drivers after many workers went back to the EU during the pandemic and have been unable to return. The industry is lobbying to change the classification of lorry drivers to skilled workers to make it easier for them to work in the UK. 

A shortage of lorry drivers is likely to have a knock on effect for many industries. One supermarket is reportedly waiting for 45 per cent of its wine selection which is currently stuck in Belgium as there aren’t enough hauliers available to drive the goods over, according to Logistics UK. 

Job woes are also adding to the fears surrounding the stretched health service. NHS and care staff are so burnt out, it has become an emergency which could impact the future of health provision in the UK, according to MPs. Staffing issues borne out of long training periods and poor salaries have long plagued the NHS (read Fixing the NHS, 2017 here) but in the wake of a pandemic that has stretched nurses and doctors to breaking point, the challenges are worse than ever. But help could arrive in the form of automation. A greater use of robotics in the health service could alleviate some staffing issues, if the government is willing to embrace new technology. Missteps like the poor communication around the use of Google to manage Brits’ health data won’t help the cause. 

Read our live blog below to catch up with the rest of today’s top stories and find out what they mean for your money. 

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