Diageo boss calls for action over “scandalous” talent waste in wake of Brexit

Diageo boss Ivan Menezes has claimed that there is a “scandalous waste of talent” in the UK with 790,000 young people not in education, unemployment or training (NEET).

Menezes, is also the chairman of Movement to Work, a collaboration of employers that help young people into work. He said that the emerging labour market challenges in light of Brexit create an opportunity to get young unemployed people into work.

The call will have particular resonance with the UK drinks trade – especially hospitality employers – where high staff-turnover is being exacerbated by Brexit.

“It is a scandalous waste of talent that 790,000 young people in the UK are currently NEET”, he said.

“Brexit will likely reduce the ability of business to hire workers from elsewhere in the EU, so it is both a moral and business imperative to help our young people take that vital first step into the job market.”

A report from the British Hospitality Association (BHA) earlier this year revealed that the hospitality industry would have to find an extra 60,000 workers per year to plug the gap left by EU workers. This is on top of the 200,000 workers required yearly to replace churn in the market. The BHA said this could leave a deficit of a million workers by 2029.

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