Hospitality industry makes jobs pledge
18 July, 2012
The hospitality sector will make a significant dent in unemployment in the UK by offering thousands of job opportunities to young people over the next three years.
The offer of work placements and apprenticeships for 18 to 24 year-olds as well as permanent jobs was made at a London gathering last week as part of the ‘Big Conversations in Hospitality’ series. Whitbread kicked off the pledges with a promise to fill half of all new jobs with currently unemployed people, and called on others to make similar moves.
Patrick Dempsey, managing director of Whitbread’s hotels and restaurants division and chair of the event, said: “The industry has thousands of job opportunities for youngsters and the unemployed, and has huge career opportunities at apprenticeship and other levels—if only more young people realized this.”
The ‘Big Conversations in Hospitality’ initiative has been launched by companies including Whitbread and Thistle in conjunction with Springboard and the British Hospitality Association. Anne Pierce, chief executive of Springboard, said her agency’s Inspire programme of work placements could help to lift employment levels and point more young people towards hospitality as a career.
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said hospitality could generate 236,000 jobs by 2015—half of the government’s entire target on youth employment over the next three years. “Hospitality is one of the very few industries in the UK creating jobs, apprenticeships, work placements and career opportunities. It is one of the very few industries where you can start at the bottom and excel right up to the very top.”
She urged more businesses to get on board with placements, as well as closer collaboration. “There are 200,000 businesses in the industry. If every business pledged to offer one work placement, and employ one more local person, we would easily meet our growth target.”