Hospitality industry unites to create over 30,000 job opportunities for young people by 2015

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) will announce that the UK’s hospitality and tourism industries will create over 30,000 new job opportunities for young people by 2015. The BHA will inform Mark Hoban MP, Minister of State for Employment of the pledge as it hosts its annual Summit at the InterContinental London Park Lane on Tuesday 11 June, 2013.

The job opportunities are 14,832 permanent roles, 11,103 apprenticeships, and 5,157 paid university work placements. The pledges have been made at a series of nine Big Hospitality Conversation events which have taken place over the last 12 months across the UK from Scotland to the South West. Over 1,200 industry representatives attended these events and made job opportunity pledges including the largest hospitality organisations in the UK such as Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, Accor, Hilton, Compass UK, Sodexo, Marriott, Bartlett Mitchell, BaxterStorey, SSP UK; small hotels, restaurants and catering organisations as well as the most prestigious names such as The Ritz, The Goring, Le Manoir aux Quait' Saisons, The Savoy, and Belfry Hotel.

The Hospitality industry employs 10% of the national workforce and the BHA has coordinated the industry’s biggest job creation drive which aims to offer opportunities to unemployed young people in the UK. Hospitality is uniquely suited to getting young people on the first rung of a rewarding career ladder.

Mark Hoban, Employment Minister said:

“The collaboration between Jobcentre Plus and the British Hospitality Association has been extremely successful, and it's fantastic to see the industry come together today with a further pledge to create 30,000 opportunities for young people.

“The hospitality industry provides a diverse range of career prospects for people of all ages, but particularly for young people who are starting out and still exploring what career path they would like to take. I'd encourage young people to seize these opportunities."

Patrick Dempsey OBE, managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, who is a driving force behind the campaign, says, “The industry has very many job vacancies for young people and the unemployed. The hospitality industry can give you a rewarding and meaningful career; if only more young people realised this.”

Led by the BHA, together with Business in the Community (one of the Prince of Wales’ charities) and the charity Springboard, the campaign involves a series of discussion-based events where industry leaders meet young people to find out what they have to say and to learn about the challenges they face in finding work, apprenticeships and work placements.

Alongside these events, the BHA is challenging every tourism and hospitality business in the UK to pledge to employ more people aged between 18 and 24 or to offer apprenticeships and paid university student work placements. The campaign will continue in the autumn.

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said: "The BHA is galvanising the industry to invest in our best resource - our young people - and from the response we have received so far this is happening. It’s a powerful message to take to government. ”

Angela Brav, IHG’s Chief Executive, Europe said: "Following the Olympics, we have a unique opportunity to build on this success and to keep showing the world just how innovative and ambitious we are. Equipping people with the skills to work in our industry is hugely important and vital if we are to fulfil this potential. We are delighted to contribute to the BHA's jobs pledge, by offering 400 apprenticeships in our 66 managed hotels over the next three years. Our industry is brought to life by people, let's work together to invest in them and in turn, our future."

Anne Pierce MBE, CEO Springboard said: “Springboard is delighted to be part of the Big Conversation. We see this as a great way to bring together industry leaders and young people to create a meaningful dialogue resulting in many unemployed and disadvantaged young people gaining vital work experience, apprenticeship and employment opportunities. The number of pledges are amazing as they are leaving a legacy for job creation and growth for the UK hospitality industry.”

Simon Vincent, President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said: “Increasing the competitiveness of the UK’s hospitality and tourism industry is key to a sustained recovery. With 112 hotels and 13,000 team members in the UK, Hilton Worldwide is committed to promoting employment opportunities for young people. With relatively low barriers to entry, we are ideally placed to help tackle youth unemployment, provide lifelong careers, and ultimately stimulate and support growth in the UK economy.”

Nestlé Professional® Managing Director Neil Stephens said: “As the fifth largest employer in the country, Hospitality has a collective responsibility to invest time and resource in nurturing and developing talent – in particular young talent – and creating opportunities that will either generate employment or make people employment-ready. It’s for the greater good of both the hospitality industry and the wider economy.”

Karen Friebe, Real Estate Partner and Hospitality & Leisure Sector Head of international legal services firm DLA Piper commented: "We are highly supportive of the BHA's initiative for 2013, which will build on the legacy of the Olympic games by bringing together key players in the hospitality and tourism industry to pledge jobs for young people, thereby creating new pathways to employment"

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