Shortage of staff in arcades, food outlets and bar at Clacton Pier
- Credit: Clacton Pier
The boss of Clacton Pier has told of the on-going problems he is having in recruiting staff since the venue opened after lockdown.
Billy Ball fears that it is likely to be a similar problem across the leisure and hospitality industry - and will be hitting businesses hard.
“In the past we have never had a difficulty with finding people to fill jobs – whether it be for our indoor facilities which run 364 days a year, or for the more seasonal outdoor ride jobs,” said Mr Ball.
“We have also had a very high percentage of people returning for seasonal posts year after year.
“The problem now is that they have seen that whenever there is a lockdown it is the leisure and hospitality sector that is the first to close and the last to re-open.
“This has had the effect that people are looking for jobs in other areas where they feel they have more confidence in continuity of employment. And once they do that you have lost them.”
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Mr Ball added that the problem is a knock-on effect of what has been happening over the past year or more due to the Covid pandemic.
“It was tough to survive while we were closed as we still had the majority of our normal overheads without money coming in,” he said.
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“We were grateful for the Government grants and furlough pay for the staff we had on our books.
“But since coming back we have found that we have been unable to recruit new staff and bring seasonal staff back.
“It is a worry going forwards as the remaining restrictions lift and we have more visitors at our attraction and need more employees. It is just another consequence of Covid.”
He said the issue applied to both full and part-time posts at all levels.
Mr Ball said that the pier has worked hard over the past 12 months to restructure staffing requirements and is now in a stronger position to support employment and offer both full-time and part-time long term career opportunities.
They currently include an arcade service engineer, ride maintenance engineer, food and beverage manager, arcade shift manager, chef, cashier, kitchen assistant, ride customer service assistant, arcade floor staff and bar attendant.