Job vacancies in hotel sector soar almost 200% chief warns of mounting risk that demand for workers will outstrip supply

Job vacancies in the hotel sector increased almost 200 per cent between 2013 and 2017, according to figures from

The recruitment website said vacancies for hotel chefs, bartenders, waiters, receptionists, porters, cocktail mixologists and concierges had all increased.

Vacancies for hotel chefs increased by 149 per cent over the five-year period, while hotel bartending, mixologist and concierge vacancies all soared by 80 per cent in 2017 compared to just the year before. has welcomed changes to employment permit regulations announced last week by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys. These changes will make it easier for businesses in the hospitality sector to source workers from outside the European Economic Area.


Remarkable resilience

"Ireland's hotel sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience," said general manager Christopher Paye. Despite a reliance on British visitors for revenue, the year 2016 proved to be a turning point for the sector, thanks to rising numbers of tourists from the rest of Europe, North America and Asia.

“However, there is a mounting risk that demand for workers will outstrip supply, and this is already proving the case for chefs,” he said.

If skills shortages are left unaddressed, the growth of Ireland’s tourism industry will be “short-lived”, said Mr Paye. is now calling on the Government to make more regular consultations with the industry to “pre-empt” shortages before they arise.

The hospitality sector is worth an estimated €7.2 billion to the Irish economy and supports some 235,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, hotels group Dalata has said it expects to add some 300 jobs in Ireland this year thanks to the opening of three new hotels, two in Dublin and one in Cork, by the end of the year.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics