Travel faces talent drain as pre-Covid level vacancies outstrip job seekers

A 49% rise in the number of travel job vacancies last month to hit pre-pandemic levels far outstripped those seeking work in the industry, latest data reveals.

The Covid-19 crisis has left a shortfall, with lots of “great talent” exiting the travel trade over the last 18 months.

New candidates searching for employment in the sector in October rose by just 13% over September.

While this was more than double the figure from the same month last year, volumes remained down by 27% compared to pre-pandemic October 2019, according to the latest figures from C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

The level of vacancies hit the second highest level since January 2020, and was the greatest monthly figure for October since 2014.

Last month’s total was up by 16% from October 2019, up by two per cent from both 2018 and 2017, and up by seven per cent from both 2016 and 2015.

The overall number of candidates being placed in new travel roles was 21% lower than in October 2019 despite hitting the highest level since February 2020.

The industry figures reflect the wider nationwide situation with the Office for National Statistics reporting that job vacancies hit a fresh record high in October as employers continued to struggle with worker shortages.

The official figures published on Tuesday suggested that employers are continuing to struggle to fill roles, affecting the hospitality and retail sectors in particular.

C&M director Barbara Kolosinska said: “Last month had the second highest number of new travel job vacancies that we’ve seen in nearly two years, so there really is no shortage of great roles out there.

“However, these impressive figures aren’t quite being replicated by the number of new candidates, which remain down by about a quarter compared to pre-pandemic levels.”

She added: “It’s clear that lots of great talent has left travel over the past 18 months, so the challenge now is to attract new workers to our industry and remind former employees about what’s so great about working in travel and tourism.

“Another thing to keep an eye on is the TMC market. It’s slowly been returning and we’re now seeing some of these companies recruiting again, but I envisage this market really taking off within the next few weeks.”

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