Travelodge targets parents to plug potential Brexit staffing crisis

Hotel chain Travelodge is targeting parents who want to return to work to plug potential gaps caused by a staffing crisis after Brexit.

Travelodge was close to administration in 2012 and subsequently went through a restructuring process

The budget brand admitted it would have “thousands of new jobs to fill” in “post-Brexit Britain” and said it would offer jobs which suit working parents such as during school hours in a bid to attract stay-at-home parents back to work.

Travelodge, which has 575 hotels, said it is looking to fill 550 jobs immediately - from roles on reception and in its restaurants and housekeeping teams, as well as some head office roles with flexible hours. It said it hoped to open 100 new sites by 2023, creating more than 3,000 jobs.

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It revealed the plans as it reported an 8.8 per cent growth in revenue in 2018.

Travelodge chief executive, Peter Gowers, said: “Travelodge is growing quickly and we want to unlock the potential of Britain’s mums and dads as they return to work. Hospitality can offer a great career for parents, with jobs close to home, hours that can match the school run, benefits that suit families and a path into management.

“We are preparing in earnest for post-Brexit Britain. With thousands of new jobs to fill, we need more new colleagues than ever. We see vast untapped potential in parents who want to return to work.”

Travelodge employs a majority of female hotel managers, while across the group, almost three-quarters of its staff are women. It also currently counts European Union workers as making up just under a third of its staff and has warned of the impact that new migration rules could have on its ability to recruit new workers.

The government wants to extend the £30,000-a-year minimum salary threshold that applies to non-EU workers to EU migrants who apply for five year visas.

Mr Gowers said that the company’s “transformation”, which has seen it open Premium Economy “super rooms” which include luxury items such as a coffee machine and power showers, as well as its first “budget chic” Travelodge Plus hotels, has proved to be successful.

He added: “We’ve invested in better quality and choice for our guests, while staying true to our budget roots. The long-term growth opportunities for the budget sector remain strong and we expect to open 100 new hotels over the next five years, creating approximately 3,000 jobs.”

Travelodge was close to administration in 2012 and subsequently went through a restructuring process which saw a hedge fund take on its debts in return for a controlling stake in the company.

A recent report by CIPD - professional body for experts in people at work - into workforce trends in the run-up to Brexit found that 70 per cent of employers with vacancies said that at least some of those were proving hard-to-fill, compared to 51 per cent in Spring 2017.