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​London nightlife venues are facing a shortage of door staff

The nightlife industry has become a “hugely challenging environment”

  • Gemma Ross
  • 8 September 2021
​London nightlife venues are facing a shortage of door staff

Venues in London are working with around 80% of the door security staff than they were pre-pandemic, according to Night Time Industries Association chief Michael Kill.

On Monday, nightlife heads spoke at London Assembly’s economy committee meeting about the issues faced by the industry as a result of both the pandemic and Brexit fallout.

The UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) found that a majority of door supervisor licence renewals have been used for other security jobs, and will run dry of security for future positions.

NTIA boss Michael Kill said that there are “very difficult times ahead” for the industry, and could lead to “catastrophic” results with mass door staff shortages.

“What’s happened is the pandemic, alongside Brexit, has culminated in a position where we’re at 80% of pre-COVID resources,” he said on Monday.

Read this next: Government to push ahead with vaccine passport requirement for nightclubs in England

He argued that it’s currently a “hugely challenging environment” for staff to work in, but has been recognised years ahead of the pandemic.

“We’ve been sat on the SIA (Security Industry Authority) for three, four years discussing the fact that long-term, we’re going to have a shortage of door security,” he said.

Kill argued that more security would be required due to the public health strategy and now the issue of vaccine passports that will be required to enter nightclubs and venues by late September.

There’s now a worry that the introduction of such rules could make it harder to find staff willing to take on the more “hellish” conditions. The trade body also expressed concerns that six in every 10 nightclub and venue security supervisor positions are at risk of going unfilled.

Read this next: Michael Gove reportedly refused to pay £5 to get into Scottish nightclub

“[By] the end of September, if we don’t prepare for it appropriately, then we are going to fall foul of some horrendous timings. In terms of public safety, service, infrastructure, supply chain, it’s going to be catastrophic if we’re not careful,” said Kill.

Councillor Green added, “If [businesses] don’t have security staff there, they simply cannot open and they simply cannot operate” and pushed for local councils to “improve perceptions” around security staffing in the nightlife industry.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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