The Night Time Industry Association (NTIA) has suggested that bouncer shortages in the UK could become a “threat to public safety”. The association has found that staffing levels are under 70% of what they should be, blaming the shortage on a combination of workers leaving the roles during the pandemic, Brexit, and the lack of EU workers. In addition, the BBC has reported that approximately one in five nightlife businesses are believed to have closed or cut hours because of security staff shortages.
The UK government has previously claimed that it is helping to “retrain, build new skills and get back into work to help fill vacancies”. Nevertheless, the NTIA has said that this isn’t enough, calling for “funding training initiatives, streamlining new training requirements, or tackling shortages through legislation”. The NTIA has also suggested that the government introduce temporary visas for EU workers to address the shortage of UK security staff.
The CEO of NTIA, Michael Kill, told the BBC: “Door security staff shortages in the nighttime economy are becoming critical. We carried out a survey a few months ago which found that security resource in the sector was only at 70 per cent, and I am afraid that the situation has only deteriorated further since then.”
“Whether it is through acting as a first line of defence against a terrorist attack, or intervening to break up violent incidents, licensed security staff are fundamental to public safety,” he said, adding that the shortages are “beginning to put the public in real jeopardy”. The current scarcity of staff could also mean that more nightclubs and venues shut down over the Christmas period. The NTIA has said that the “government must come to the table and look at these solutions we are putting forward as sector – this is a serious problem, which, if left alone, may lead to a tragedy”.
Elsewhere, the NTIA has called Scotland’s Covid passports for venues roll-out a “shambles” after numerous problems with the app were reported. The country has introduced a new law that requires everyone entering pubs, bars, and nightclubs to provide the venues with their Covid-19 status via either the NHS Covid Passport app or a printed paper copy of vaccine status. But, according to the NTIA: “It has become very clear that the Scottish App is simply not fit for purpose and the vast majority of people are experiencing repeated problems in registering and uploading their personal vaccine status to the app.”
“The NTIA has repeatedly warned Scottish government of just how unworkable their vaccine passport plan is, and the disastrous launch of this flawed scheme has proved that our warnings were well-founded,” The NTIA continued. In England, the plan to introduce Covid passports for nightclubs and large live music/sporting events has been scrapped.