Domino's warns over Brexit recruitment crisis
DOMINO'S Pizza is urging the Government to put politics to one side and pursue a Brexit immigration policy guided by economic considerations to help avoid a recruitment crisis in the hospitality industry.
Simon Wallis, the group's chief operating officer, said that half of Domino's staff in leadership roles come from countries such as Estonia, Portugal and Romania.
However, the future pipeline of managers is being threatened by Conservative plans to sever Britain from the single market in a bid to slash immigration to the "tens of thousands" following Brexit.
"Not only have the people of Britain turned to migrants to make their lattes, build their kitchens and take care of their elderly, they've also relied on them to provide leadership.
"We need to properly consider how we're going to supply our economy with the legions of team leaders who keep the tills ringing, the wheels turning and the pizzas coming," he said.
Domino's is embarking on an expansion drive, with plans to open 600 more stores over the next few years which will require more than 21,000 staff, but a fall in net migration means it will become increasingly difficult to find people to take up the roles.
It is also planning to recruit 5,000 over the busy Christmas period, when it expects to serve up over 9 million pizzas.
Earlier this year Domino's, which employs around 35,000 staff across 1,000 stores, issued a call for young British staff to help plug the gap.
Mr Wallis said that thus far, the debate on Britain's looming labour shortage following Brexit has tended to focus on seasonal and casual workers, tradesman and, professionals.
"But there is a fourth group which I believe is where the biggest hazard lies after Brexit.
"Many of these team leaders started out delivering pizzas, labouring or cleaning, but through ambition and hard work they've turned casual work into a career," he added.
The British Hospitality Association said in April that the UK sector needed around 62,000 EU migrants every year if it is to maintain the status quo and drive growth.
Mr Wallis's comments come after the chief executive of Chapel Down, an official wine supplier to 10 Downing Street, warned earlier this week that Britons will "starve" if the door is closed to foreign fruit pickers after Brexit.
He adds his voice to a chorus of business leaders and industry bodies that have issued stark warnings on how Brexit is affecting or will affect numerous sectors, including agriculture, aerospace, manufacturing, retail, airlines, construction and financial services.