- Restaurants, cafes, and stores in South England are struggling with staff shortages.
- I went on vacation there recently and saw lots of recruitment ads and worker shortage signs.
- Some businesses were happy to hire people with no prior experience.
Devon, a popular tourist destination in South West England, is suffering from a severe shortage of staff in stores, cafes, and restaurants. A recent survey showed that 58% of businesses in the area are struggling to fill open roles.
Survey: BDO's Rethinking the Economy, August 2021.
When I went on vacation to Devon, I noticed lots of hiring posters in shop windows. Some of the stores, such as the optician chain below, were looking for people with no previous experience.
Big brands, such as Clarks shoe shop based in Exeter, were advertising for various jobs and encouraging people to apply via their websites.
I visit Devon a couple of times a year, but I had never seen so many job advertisements until my most recent trip.
Some cafes had signs reminding customers to be kind to workers because they're short staffed.
One day, I took a steam train from a small town called Paignton to Kingswear, a village with a harbor.
But even the office at the steam train station had a poster saying it was closed because it didn't have enough staff to keep it open.
After getting off the steam train, I hopped on a ferry to Dartmouth, which is in the South Hams district on the south coast of Devon.
Dartmouth was flooded with hiring notices and labor shortage signs. Some stores were looking for as many as three employees.
Cafes and restaurants were on the hunt for staff, especially as the school holidays brought more tourists to the seaside town.
"The South Hams, along with the rest of the country, is having problems with recruiting staff in some local businesses," Cllr Hilary Bastone, South Hams District Council's executive member for economy, told Insider.
The pandemic, Brexit, the regional housing crisis, and national supply chain issues have had an impact on the local workforce. This resulted in issues when hiring "much-needed staff" and triggering "a perfect storm for local businesses," Bastone told Insider.
Bastone said that although retail and hospitality are struggling to hire staff, the South Hams has one of the lowest employment rates in the UK, standing at 2.9%, compared with 5% nationally.
I came across many shops that were closed up. The clothes shop below had shut in August and was still empty.
Other stores had advertisements saying they were available to rent out.
"The retail industry has been calling for action on labor shortages for some time and government needs to find a long-term solution," Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, told Insider.
Read the original article on Business Insider