Pub group Marston’s hires more over-50s as recruitment pressures ease

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Pub group Marston’s has said recruitment pressures have eased as it has hired “more over-50s”.

It came as the company hailed a rise in sales for the past six months on the back of strong drink trade despite pressure on customer budgets.

Hospitality bosses and trade bodies have cautioned over staffing shortages over the past year as vacancies in the sector struck record levels, impacting the ability of some businesses to trade.

However, Andrew Andrea, chief executive of the 1,440-strong pub group, staffing is in a “good place” after an improvement in the hiring market.

“The are finding the availability and quality of talent OK at the moment,” he said.

“It’s definitely different depending on locations, like city centres, but the situation is fairly good right now.

“We have been employing more over-50s and it is very encouraging to see more in that market coming back into work.”

It comes as fresh figures from the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment increased to 3.9% over the first three months of the year.

On Tuesday, Marston’s also revealed that like-for-like sales grew by 10.7% over the half-year to April 1 compared with the same period last year.

The group said drink sales have performed well despite poor weather at the end of the half and pressure on consumer spending.

Mr Andrea added: “Our first half performance clearly demonstrates that consumers remain as keen as ever to celebrate – and socialise within – the Great British pub.

“The macro environment is becoming increasingly stable and recent evidence suggests that both the cost outlook, and consumer confidence, are steadily improving.”

Shares in the business were 5.4% lower after early trading.

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