The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned that a shortage of door staff could hamper the reopening of hospitality and nightlife venues next month.
While nightclubs will be provisionally allowed to return in England from June 21, the NTIA says that 6 in 10 door positions are at risk of being unfilled and that the UK Government is deepening the crisis with new training requirements, which has seen initial course pass rates drop from 90 per cent to under 50 per cent.
In a new open letter, the NTIA warn that “an important part of operational infrastructure will collapse at the very moment we look to re-open the economy”.
They also warn that the cost of becoming a licensed supervisor has become a further barrier to entering the industry, while tough exams have resulted in less than 50 per cent of participants passing.
The NTIA says that it is now “vital that businesses, employees and consumers are prepared and able to enjoy the re-opening period in a way that is safe, secure and financially viable.”
A spokesperson for the UK Door Security Association said: “We are deeply concerned that a culmination of issues within our sector will generate a dramatic shortfall in licensed security resources.
“It is obvious to everyone that the upcoming season for events and festivals, coupled with the re-opening of hospitality and nightlife, will present an unprecedented level of demand in a very short period of time. This is a demand that we won’t be able to fulfil and could put public health at risk.
“While we appreciate that the Government is aware of the situation, awareness will get us nowhere. We need action and we need it now.”
Michael Kill, Chief Executive of the Night Time Industries Association, added: “The hospitality and night time economy sector has suffered immeasurably in the last 14 months and while we welcome the opportunity to reopen, there is a sleeping giant emerging in the supply chain and workforce resource.
“The culmination of Brexit, regulatory changes and requirement for workers to remain financially buoyant, has left many businesses across different sectors with challenges around retaining their workforce. Late night economy businesses and events will be hardest-hit, as they will be last to advertise for staff.”
A spokesperson for the United Kingdom Crowd Management Organisation (UKCMA), said: “The UKCMA offers its full support to the UKDSA representation highlighting shortages of licensed security personnel, demonstrating the concerns are industry wide, and affect all sectors. We believe it is our collective duty to raise the matter of a real and imminent threat to public safety.”
Earlier this month, the NTIA warned MPs about the growing rent crisis facing the UK’s nightclubs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.