One in five nightclubs are forced to close or slash opening hours because of bouncer shortages

One in five nightclubs in the UK have been forced to close or reduce their opening hours because of a shortage of bouncers, industry chiefs say.

After a grueling 15-months of lockdown disruption, nightclub bosses now face a fresh headache as they try to attract back bouncers who were forced to find new jobs during the pandemic.

Bosses have turned to increasing pay in a bid to entice bouncers back to the profession, with some estimates suggesting venues are having to pay security staff as much as 25 per cent more.

But the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), say one in five night-time and hospitality businesses have been forced to close or reduce opening hours in the last month due to security staff shortages.

The industry body said the situation has ‘deteriorated further’ as demand continues to soar from customers keen to enjoy a night out following the easing of lockdown measures. 

And the NTIA warn public safety could become an issue in the future if the shortages get worse.

Chief executive, Michael Kill, said: ‘If shortages continue to get worse, there is a very real chance it could become a threat to public safety.

After a grueling 15-months of lockdown disruption, nightclub bosses now face a fresh headache as they try to attract back bouncers (pictured: Library image) who were forced to find new jobs during the pandemic

After a grueling 15-months of lockdown disruption, nightclub bosses now face a fresh headache as they try to attract back bouncers (pictured: Library image) who were forced to find new jobs during the pandemic

After a grueling 15-months of lockdown disruption, nightclub bosses now face a fresh headache as they try to attract back bouncers (pictured: Library image) who were forced to find new jobs during the pandemic

‘Like in other sectors currently seeing shortages, this is a long-term issue and decline in security resources can be tracked back at least three years, but this has been hugely exacerbated by the pandemic with many licensed staff leaving the sector when the bars and clubs closed and now choosing not to return.

Active job posts hit a record high as bosses cry out for 45,303 retail staff, 44,540 chefs and 101,948 nurses amid ‘abject labour shortage’ 

UK job advert numbers have reached a record high, with over two million positions currently being offered, newly released figures have revealed.

Job market data from October 4 to 10 shows around 235,000 new job adverts were posted, bringing the total number of active postings to 2.29million.

The number of job adverts has spiked over the past six weeks, increasing by over 600,000 (36 per cent) since the end of August.

According to the figures, there were 45,303 new adverts for sales and retail assistants, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 nurses in the last week.

The analysis from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) also shows that 7,490 job adverts have been posted for HGV drivers in the UK over the last week – an increase of 3.3 per cent since October 3.

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‘Brexit hasn’t helped either, but it is far from the only factor at play here.

‘There are steps the Government can take to ease the problem, whether that be funding training initiatives, streamlining new training requirements, or tackling shortages through legislation – and I would also like to see them revisit the issue of temporary visas to assuage the crisis.’

Bosses at nightclub operator Rekom UK and bar chain Revolution also say the shortage is a pressing concern.

Peter Marks, chief executive of 42-site business Rekom UK, which runs brands including Pryzm and Atik, said the problem had been ‘building slowly but has become so much worse since the pandemic’.

He said: ‘It’s been a real struggle at times but we’ve fortunately often been able to push back with security agencies to find the teams we need just in time.

‘But even then, on one or two occasions we’ve had to limit numbers into venues because of security levels.

‘We are in a particularly strong position though as we can agree to take on staff in larger numbers – this is particularly hitting independent clubs hard.’

Mr Marks added that the shortage has resulted in increasing fees for staff, as firms deal with a litany of other cost rises such as higher energy bills and rebounding VAT levels.

‘I think the cost has gone up by around 15%,’ he said.

‘But that is slightly different everywhere. In somewhere like Dartford where we are the one club, it might not be that much, but in big cities like Nottingham it becomes very competitive trying to secure those staff.’

Mr Marks said the problem came amid ‘roaring trade’ as people return to clubs for the first time since before the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Sacha Lord, the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, told the Guardian that ‘security staffing was the biggest issue’ at this year’s Parklife festival in Manchester.

Chief executive, Michael Kill (pictured), said: 'If shortages continue to get worse, there is a very real chance it could become a threat to public safety.'

Chief executive, Michael Kill (pictured), said: 'If shortages continue to get worse, there is a very real chance it could become a threat to public safety.'

Sacha Lord (pictured right), the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, told the Guardian that 'security staffing was the biggest issue' at this year's Parklife festival in Manchester

Sacha Lord (pictured right), the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, told the Guardian that 'security staffing was the biggest issue' at this year's Parklife festival in Manchester

Chief executive, Michael Kill (pictured left), said: ‘If shortages continue to get worse, there is a very real chance it could become a threat to public safety.’  Meanwhile, Sacha Lord (pictured right), the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, told the Guardian that ‘security staffing was the biggest issue’ at this year’s Parklife festival in Manchester

Addison Lee reveals plans to recruit 1,000 drivers in London amid ‘growing demand’ as nation is gripped by cabbie shortage with THREE hour waits for a taxi 

Private hire giant Addison Lee is to recruit 1,000 drivers in London as demand for taxis continues to soar amid a driver shortage.

The company said it is offering drivers a ‘market-leading’ package, with a guarantee of £5,000 for the first month of employment, a pension and holiday pay.

It comes after it was revealed that drinkers are facing huge three hour queues to get a taxi home after a number of private hire drivers quit during the pandemic.

It is believed that thousands of drivers have quit in the past 18 months, with many now working for takeaway delivery firms or services like Amazon or DPD. 

Uber has previously admitted it is hoping to recruit 20,000 new drivers to tackle shortages as it revealed that demand for cabs was soaring. 

Addison Lee is also seeing similar trends since lockdown restrictions eased.  

Between August and September, Addison Lee said its passenger car journeys in London increased by more than 40%, and the company expects to see continued growth throughout the Christmas period. 

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Mr Lord, who co-founded the festival, said it was a struggle to hire the 1,000 security personnel required to cover the 80,000-capacity event last month. 

He told the paper: ‘We have always taken it for granted that you can send an email to three or four security providers and get our 900-1,000 security staff.

‘But this year we had to beg, borrow and steal from all over the country.

‘We had to bus them in from north Scotland, Devon and all over. Normally it is very localised and they come from Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.’ 

It comes after it was revealed that drinkers are facing huge three hour queues to get a taxi home after a number of private hire drivers quit during the pandemic.

It is believed that thousands of drivers have quit in the past 18 months, with many now working for takeaway delivery firms or services like Amazon or DPD. 

Uber has previously admitted it is hoping to recruit 20,000 new drivers to tackle shortages as it revealed that demand for cabs was soaring. 

Addison Lee is also seeing similar trends since lockdown restrictions eased. 

The private hire taxi firm is to recruit 1,000 drivers in London as demand for taxis continues to soar amid a driver shortage.

Uber has also vowed to up its driver numbers after many went into food delivery due to a huge drop in business during the Covid lockdowns.  

Earlier this year pub and restaurant bosses warned they are faced a shortfall of 188,000 workers ahead of ‘Freedom Day’ in June.

Jobs lost in hospitality accounted for 43 per cent of the national total during the coronavirus crisis, with many staff who have lost their employment moving into retail – and others heading back to their home countries in Europe. 

It comes as it was revealed last week that UK job advert numbers have reached a record high, with over two million positions currently being offered, newly released figures have revealed.

UK job advert numbers have reached a record high with over two million positions currently being offered, including 45,303 postings for retail staff, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 for nurses, newly released figures have revealed

UK job advert numbers have reached a record high with over two million positions currently being offered, including 45,303 postings for retail staff, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 for nurses, newly released figures have revealed

UK job advert numbers have reached a record high with over two million positions currently being offered, including 45,303 postings for retail staff, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 for nurses, newly released figures have revealed

Job market data from October 4 to 10 shows around 235,000 new job adverts were posted, bringing the total number of active postings to 2.29million.

The number of job adverts has spiked over the past six weeks, increasing by over 600,000 (36 per cent) since the end of August.

According to the figures, there were 45,303 new adverts for sales and retail assistants, 44,540 for chefs and 101,948 nurses in the last week.

The analysis from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) also shows that 7,490 job adverts have been posted for HGV drivers in the UK over the last week – an increase of 3.3 per cent since October 3. 

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