By Salvatore Boemi, Mark Devlin, Chris Toner and Scott Young.
With the hospitality industry being impacted significantly by COVID-19, the harsh reality is that people working within the sector are struggling.
Angus is a journalism graduate who has found it difficult securing a job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angus Hyde has recently achieved his degree in Sports Journalism at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).
He said: ‘It is really hard to get a job at the moment, in the sector I have graduated, you can work from home but is hard to show how you are different and that you are there to display to work in a job.’
However, hard-working Angus has continuously working in a bar in Prestwick as a bartender to pay his bills even before the outbreak of the pandemic and now is struggling with income because of the closure of pubs, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
He said: ‘I was a supervisor for a company for 2 months, and therefore the way how the Government has figured out the income is based on average hours instead of average monthly and that’s why I struggle”.
Angus is concerned about what’s in-store for him long-term:
“I am worried about my future because of COVID-19. At the moment I don’t know anything still, because I don’t know if I can earn enough to just get the rent”.
Nicole Robertson, from Larkhall, is also working in the hospitality sector. She has had to juggle family-life with her workload at The Radstone Hotel, after having her third child at the beginning of lockdown:
“I have three kids: my boy’s in nursery, one girl in school and one who is only seven months. For my two oldest not to have that release of school and nursery, and having to take care of the baby, it has been quite a struggle”.
Support from the hotel has been consistent throughout lockdown, as the management pose good family values. She said:
“The Radstone is a very family-orientated hotel. The owners have children who work within the hotel; their son runs HR and their daughter runs an events company through the hotel. They’ve been there for us throughout the pandemic and tried to ensure none of us lose our jobs.
“Before furlough, we were asked if we wanted to use up any holidays and if so, just to let them know. I think they’ve been quite fair with us”.
Lastly is Stephen O’Regan, 32, originally from County Clare in the West of Ireland. He is now the area manager of three bars in the West of Scotland, including Kitty O’Sheas in Glasgow. He said that the pandemic has been good for him ‘personally but not professionally’.
“Personal things got neglected through work because that’s kind of what life was all about and it was a case of when I couldn’t work, I was applying these things, getting lists down of daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and getting to tick all these things off.”
Upon reopening in July, O’Regan was responsible to ensure staff and customers’ safety, something he acknowledged was ‘a bit of a challenge’.
“You might put something in place and think it’s a great idea but it didn’t actually work maybe practically when it came down to it”.