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A million unfilled jobs – and no one to serve the Tories in Manchester

The city’s hospitality venues blame Brexit for a lack of experienced staff as the Conservative party conference arrives in town

For the swanky bars and restaurants that surround Manchester Central convention complex, Conservative party conference normally means being fully staffed to meet extra demand over the busy weekend. But this year is different. Huge shortages of pivotal workers in hospitality mean many venues are unable to fill their rota.

In the 30 years since Dimitri’s first opened on Manchester’s Deansgate, the restaurant has employed hundreds of European staff, but not now. “We’re a Mediterranean restaurant so we used to have a nice mix of people from Greece, Spain, Portugal or Italy, but all of a sudden that’s gone,” said Susie Benson, duty manager.

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