Problems for our low wage seasonal economy – anyone heard recently from our LEP?

Owl reveals Heart of the South West’s (HotSW) master plan in the next post. Spoiler alert!

“Build Back Better sets out the key transformational opportunities in our area that will unlock investment, create more and better jobs, and deliver carbon-net zero in response to the climate change emergency declared by many of our partners. The plan is rooted in the ambitious vision of our Local Industrial Strategy, maintaining our commitment to increasing productivity through clean and inclusive growth.”

Remember, the model of “growth” that has governed Britain since the 2008 crash is one where the value of a home rises by roughly 5% every year, but the value of an hour’s work rises not at all, year after year. 

So should we be surprised by this?

Restaurants struggle to find staff as lockdown restrictions ease

Anita Merritt (extract)

Celebrity chef Michael Caines has revealed how his hotel and restaurant businesses are struggling to recruit staff, including for his new Exmouth ventures.

However, it seems the Devon-based chef is not alone because it has been reported bars and restaurants across the country are facing the same difficulties after thousands of workers left the sector. [See also last night’s BBC Spotlight]

Michael has told how he is currently trying to hire 20 new staff members across his hotel and restaurant group. Preparations are being made to open Mickey’s Beach Bar & Restaurant along Exmouth seafront.

It will run alongside Sylvain Peltier and Michael’s Café Patisserie Glacerie, which has already opened, as part of the Exmouth seafront regeneration project.

Michael told the BBC: “Without question, recruitment is a challenge. All of the businesses are extremely busy. For the next three, four months our hotel is completely booked up, so we’re desperately trying to recruit enough staff.

He said Brexit and the pandemic have led European workers to leave and not return, but he said another problem is the number of workers still on furlough.

While they are waiting to return to work they are less willing to switch employers.

“A lot of people feel very concerned about leaving a job where they qualify for furlough to take the new job where they wouldn’t qualify for furlough if there was another lockdown,” he explained.

“So there’s a bit of nervousness from an employee’s point of view.”

He added he is hoping roles will be more easily filled when students break up from college and university and start looking for summer work.