HEREFORD Football Club directors have resorted to pulling pints in the bar themselves because of staff shortages, while companies offering apprenticeships cannot fill vacancies.
These are just two ways in which a national labour shortage is being felt in Herefordshire.
It has been caused in part because European workers have returned home either because of concerns about coronavirus restrictions or the implications of Brexit.
Herefordshie and Worcestershire Group Training Association has seen an unprecedented number of apprenticeship vacancies available this year, both from existing apprentice employers and those recruiting for the first time.
The current vacancies available are wide-ranging, with employers recruiting onto the accountancy, business administration, customer service and engineering programmes.
Chief executive Nigel Morgan said: “Many of the opportunities currently available are well suited to both those on the first step of their careers, or people who are looking to retrain.”
Apprenticeship training is available to those aged 16 to 64 years, while the average age of the training association’s apprentices is 24.
Recruitment difficulties come as the latest job market figures from the Office for National Statistics show Herefordshire currently has one of the UK’s lowest rates of unemployment.
Padstone Financial Management are seeking an apprentice, but have not been able to fill the role.
They have resorted to employing directly through an internet recruiter instead of a local training provider.
Owner and financial director Mark Young said: “While we received numerous applications, the quality was not what we expected. Of seven people offered interviews, six actually confirmed with three not even turning up for the interview.
“We have never experienced this in 20 years of trading, and it is a sad reflection of the current situation and the attitude of the current generation.”
Taylor Lane Timber, based in Rotherwas, Hereford, is calling out for multiple staff members for an immediate start after struggling to fill the vacancies.
Meanwhile, Hereford pub Gordon Bennetts, in High Town, was forced to shut two weeks ago because of staff shortages.
Hereford FC’s directors have had to start pulling pints because they cannot find bar staff.
Jamie Griffiths, general manager, said: “As with many other pubs and bars across the city we have had a few issues with bar staff shortages.
“Thankfully, our food and beverage manager Tilly Page has been able to fill most of the shortages with a mix of our fantastic volunteers, our directors and our community engagement manager, who have all stepped in to help out behind the bars and ensure fans can enjoy a pre or post-match drink.”
The Office for National Statistics said the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 241,000 between July and August to move 1,000 above levels before the coronavirus outbreak.
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