Director general Tony Danker warned that the "acute" skills shortages will affect even more industries and may not resolve themselves until 2023.
Many foreign workers, who left Britain during the pandemic, have stayed abroad and others left due to the stricter immigration rules as a result of Brexit. Pan-Asian chain Wagamama has made public the difficulty in hiring chefs across a fifth of its restaurants, as the sector is struggling with the "perfect storm" of supply disruptions and staff shortages.
The group's recently appointed chief executive Thomas Heier said he was struggling to fill chef vacancies in around 30 sites.
He also declared that Brexit was impacting the number of European workers looking for jobs in the UK, but also blamed tough competition in the recruitment market as logistics firms are resorting to wage hikes and steep cash bonuses to help plug lorry and delivery driver shortages.
The lorry driver shortage has seen big firms such as Tesco and Asda offering £1,000 starting bonuses for new recruits, while Amazon is also offering £1,000 "golden hellos" to attract new warehouse workers trying to cover the high demand for online shopping.
Rocketing demand for workers saw 193,000 new job adverts posted in the week to August 29 alone, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. CBI boss Tony Danker said that “standing firm and waiting for shortages to solve themselves is not the way to run an economy”.
He added that the UK needed to simultaneously address short-term economic needs and long-term economic reform. According to a report published on Monday, the CBI said that “inflexibility now just brings economic damage”.
The CBI blamed the shortages on a combination of the pandemic and Brexit, which had both limited the numbers of EU workers.
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