Pret HR boss raises post-Brexit staffing concerns

Pret A Manger has said it may struggle to find staff following Brexit.

Pret human resources director Andrea Wareham told an economic affairs committee that only one in 50 job applicants to the chain were British and that 65% of its employees were non-EU citizens.

“If I had to fill all our vacancies with British-only applicants, I would not be able to fill them because of a lack of applications,” she told Labour peer Alistair Darling.

Darling responded to Wareham, stating the company might have to just pay more to attract British workers.

“I actually don’t think increasing pay would do the trick. I can only talk for Pret on this, but we do pay well above the National Living Wage, we do have great benefits and we offer fantastic careers,” Wareham replied.

“It really is a case of: ‘Do people want to work in our industry?’ We are not seen always as a desirable place to work and I think that’s the trick.”

Pret A Manger told British Baker it did not wish to comment further on the matter.

Earlier this month, Ministry of Cake managing director Chris Ormrod discussed the ramifications for the industry in terms of non-EU workers in the run-up to Brexit.

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