June 06, 2012
A commitment to provide 20,000 structured work placements and 10,000 apprenticeships in the hospitality industry in order to reduce youth unemployment, has been launched.
Patrick Dempsey (left), Managing Director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, which includes Premier Inn, asked delegates at the first-ever Hospitality and Tourism Summit at the InterContinental London Park Lane, organised by the British Hospitality Association, to pledge to employ 20 per cent of all new jobs to be for those in the 18-24 year old unemployed category.
“That would make a real difference to the lives of so many young people who currently haven’t got a job,” he said.
The campaign – called The Big Conversation and part of Prince Charles’ Business in the Community charity – will be launched next month with the support of some 50 leading companies in the industry, including Guoman, Compass and ISS, at a time of considerable expansion for the hospitality industry.
Dempsey said that in the last ten years the budget hotel sector alone had doubled in size to 120,000 rooms, with Premier Inn tripling over the same period. The company was set to add a further 20,000 rooms in the next five years.
“It’s been the biggest expansion in the industry’s history,” he said
“So the hotel industry has more opportunities than ever before to offer quality, structured school work placements, apprenticeships and target the youth unemployed.”
Premier Inn has committed to 60 work placements this summer, 5,000 apprenticeships over the next five years, and 50 per cent of the company’s new jobs will come from the youth unemployed, but he said that the hospitality industry should come together to focus on these areas.
“The Big Conversation is about pulling the industry together to make a positive impact on the youth unemployed and the skills of this workforce generally,”
Ufi Ibrahim (left), Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association added that the hospitality industry directly employs over 2.4m people and has the potential to create a further 236,000 jobs by 2015 providing the right framework is put in place.
“The Summit is the first platform where industry leaders gathered to discuss the creation of these jobs – just at a time when the economy most needs those jobs.”
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