In Rome there is no staff in the restaurant. And it’s no longer just a seasonal phenomenon
Alessandro Borghese was not exaggerating, the staff shortage is a concrete problem in catering. There is a lack of chefs, as well as waiters and dining room staff, during the high season and now, as evidenced by preliminary data from Istat, businesses struggle to find even in autumn. Especially the tertiary sector is paying the price, on a national scale as in Rome.
Indeed, according to Istat, for companies with at least 10 employees the vacancy rate is 1.4%. A projection that certainly has effects on the capital, where for months businessmen and trade associations have been complaining about staff, not only lifeguards, but also in clubs, bars and restaurants.
What is the vacancy rate?
According to Istat, “the vacancy rate is the percentage ratio between the number of vacant positions and the sum of the latter with the jobs actually filled”. In other words, “paid jobs (new or existing, provided they are free or pro di pro job) for which the employer seeks a suitable outside the company and is willing to make additional efforts to find it “.
This indicator can provide useful information for interpreting the trend of the labor market, anticipating the number of job positions occupied in a given period. In the case of companies, Istat reveals that in the third quarter of 2021, the vacancy rate is 1.8%. Compared to the previous quarter, there is an increase in the vacancy rate in industry (+ 0.3%) and a decrease in the indicator in services (-0.2%).
If the vacancy rate therefore indicates the jobs for which the employer is looking for staff, these data indicate that on a national scale the search for candidates is higher in industry (where the vacancy rate is higher), while it is lower. instead in services (where the vacancy rate is lower) compared to the quarter July-August-September.
There is a lack of personnel in the tertiary sector, the catering sector the most affected in Rome
As for responsibility, it is a snake that bites itself and from episodic, the phenomenon is now structural.
On Rome for example “About 30 thousand employees are missing in the trade, 15-20% of the overall sector”, says Claudio Pica, President of Fipe Confcommercio Rome. The reasons are therefore mainly two: “at the beginning of the pandemic several people were afraid that tourism would not restart and they turned to semi-industrial sectors – where in fact there is more search for personnel as can be learned from Istat data – or they improvised as how shop assistants and electricians “. The other reason, according to managers and trade associations, concerns citizenship income. “People prefer to do undeclared work 1-2 times a week rather than sacrifice themselves with evening shifts in catering – explains Pica – in recent months we have witnessed a total change in lifestyles, more linked to family affections”.
If on the one hand many entrepreneurs lashed out at employees, it’s also true that the National Association of Seasonal Workers had already explained how the reality was very different, especially on contracts.
“Paid cheap? Employees have contracts from 1,400 up to 2,000 euros net, with contributions paid by the company – explains Pica – A worker in Rome in the restaurant costs us an average of 26 thousand, while the employee receives about 16 thousand euros, including taxes and social charges. For this reason, we have opened a debate between the Government and the trade unions for 8 billion also in favor of companies, in this way even the salaries of employees can grow “.
Today, the trade associations are still trying to fill that gap. “We are trying with the councilors of the Lazio Region, Claudio Di Berardino at Work and Valentina Corrado at Tourism, to create a bridge between active policies on and staff training, making strength with the trade unions to restart the sector – specifies the President of Fipe Confcommercio Rome – The risk is that the continuous search for personnel can obtain the quality of services in the catering, because a fixed team within a commercial establishment is an index of skills and preparation, therefore giving greater results. No more helping to help in borderline cases, where three entrepreneurs joined the staff in the dining room to make up for staff shortages and unpreparedness ”.
The centrality of training and hotel establishments
Since the turnover of personnel is continuous, the approach to work in catering must change starting from the training places. “We should change the hotel school programs, they should be incentivized with more funds for far so that people get a much higher qualification, and then we need to increase internships to companies that are in dire need of it right now. Schools can be an important outlet for young people, but above all to help the country “.