Ireland: Last News

Around one-third of staff left pub sector due to pandemic, says LVA

Many pubs are being forced to close two days a week due to a staffing crisis which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to groups representing pub owners.

The groups are due to appear before the Oireachtas committee on tourism and culture this afternoon.

Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association will say that two years of closures and restrictions had a devastating impact on staff retention in the sector.

In an opening statement, Donall O’Keeffe will tell politicians that it is estimated about one-third of staff have left the sector.

He will say that given the shortages of skilled staff before Covid, the loss of chefs, managers and senior bar staff during Covid has made a difficult situation more challenging.

Mr O’Keeffe will tell members that they have been encouraged by the level of business since the sector reopened, and that staff availability is now the biggest inhibiting factor to full recovery.

Chief Executive of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland Paul Clancy will say that that the Covid pandemic was a game-changer like none other.

He will say that many businesses were saved by Government interventions and without these supports most pubs would have gone out of business.

Mr Clancy will also say that Covid has had a serious impact on labour supply for members.

He will say that pubs have had to adjust to the serious skills shortage in many ways, including training new staff who are both young and inexperienced.

He will tell politicians that this is not sustainable if businesses are to remain viable.

Mr Clancy will say that many pubs have closed for two days in the early part of the week out of necessity.

He will say that the skills shortage will require a response on multiple fronts.

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