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Recruitment ‘problem’ leaves Shipyard struggling for staff

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A NEW restaurant at the Elizabeth Terminal is having to offer bigger financial incentives to overcome its struggle to recruit staff.

The Shipyard

Many companies in Jersey are reporting problems with recruiting workers in the hospitality sector due to a lack of labour in the Island.

The Shipyard, a £2.5 million restaurant and bar created by Ports of Jersey and run by the Casual Dining Group, has been open since July.

Despite a successful opening period of trading, the group’s managing director, Mark Nelson, has revealed that the business is having to offer greater financial incentives because it is struggling to recruit workers.

And he said the recruitment crisis was a vicious circle, because it would lead to the new restaurant having to put its prices up.

Mr Nelson also said the organisation was soon going to go back to the government to appeal for more licences to help them in bringing in staff.

He said: ‘There is a problem with recruiting in hospitality and it is exacerbated when a new operation opens on a new site.

‘In Jersey they want to grow the economy, but also shrink the population and I can’t see how that can be done.

‘Now, in order for people to come to us, we are having to offer more money. We recruited eight people, but on our first day only two turned up because the other six were offered more money at other jobs.’

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He said that in order to attract staff the company was having to offer increased incentives such as ‘cinema passes and bonuses’.

‘We are also going to offer fixed hours, but to do this we are going to have to push our prices up – so it is a vicious circle,’ Mr Nelson added.

‘We have had good feedback so far, but people have raised issues about a lack of staff, and that is our big problem.

‘The first ferry is at 8am and we open at 7.30am, but we want to be opening earlier than that.’

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Currently the Shipyard is short of six members of staff and the Airport eatery, another venture run by the Casual Dining Group, needs four more workers.

Commercial projects manager for Ports of Jersey James Morris said it was frustrating that staffing issues were preventing the Shipyard from extending its opening hours.

He added: ‘Ports of Jersey shares the frustrations that Casual Dining Group has been experiencing, since we have invested significant funds in creating a fabulous facility for the benefit of both travellers and Islanders and we wish to see it used to its full potential. However, Casual Dining Group are having difficulties with staffing the Shipyard, notwithstanding the fact that they offer a generous wage packet for the hospitality sector, and these staffing difficulties obviously restrict their ability to provide the full extent of service that we would like to see.'

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