Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism in Wales, Ken Skates, hosts the BHA Cymru led careers event The Big Hospitality Conversation at the Senedd today (Thursday 11th June). Over a hundred hospitality and tourism business leaders from all parts of South Wales, including restaurants, hotels, conference venues and visitor attractions, will take part in the 31st Big Hospitality Conversation to offer career opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements for young unemployed people.
The Big Hospitality Conversation comes back to Cardiff after a successful event in 2013, which generated almost six thousand pledges for career opportunities for under 25s in Wales.
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association Cymru said: "We are galvanising the industry to invest in our best resource - our young people and from the response we have received so far this is happening.
“For young people living here in Wales, a career in hospitality and tourism offers an opportunity to be part of a dynamic, growing and competitive sector with great prospects for growth. The breadth of roles and the training available means that new entrants can succeed very quickly, climbing the career ladder towards even greater opportunities in the industry.”
The event, which besides matching employers with potential recruits, also seeks to break down misconceptions about the wide range of job choices that exist in the sector and also celebrates the economic impact the hospitality and tourism industry has on the Welsh economy.
The Deputy Minister said: “We are proud to host The Big Hospitality Conversation in Wales and promote career opportunities in hospitality and tourism to our young people to enable them to have a better future.
“The initiative is excellent news for the local community as the tourism industry in Wales is flourishing as local and international tourists are increasingly seeking authentic and novel experiences.
“I wish the BHA team every success for the upcoming November events.”
“It is hoped that many of the Welsh youngsters who will attend today will go onto make a career in Hospitality,” said BHA Cymru Chair Justin Baird-Murray, owner of the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. “They are our lifeblood and, as BHA Chair in Wales, I am determined to take every opportunity I can to give our young people the chance of earning a living in a truly great global industry.
“My sincere thanks to the Deputy Minister for joining us today and to my fellow Wales Committee members. Ken has been hugely supportive of our work and as an industry we stand squarely behind the Welsh Government’s strategy for developing our industry.”
The Big Hospitality Conversation is a UK wide phenomenon that has so far generated a staggering 43,000 career opportunities bringing together over 2,700 business leaders.
Anne Pierce, Chief Executive of Springboard, said: “Springboard is proud to be one of the founder partners of the Big Hospitality Conversation. It is recognised that work experience for the young people in Cardiff plays a key part in influencing their career choice and this is why we are taking a lead role in this initiative.”
The Cardiff event attracted representatives from leading UK and international businesses like McDonalds, Premier Inn, Costa, Accor and Park Plaza and top Welsh hoteliers like Celtic Manor Resort, St Brides Hotel and Spa Saundersfoot, Castle Hotel Conwy and Lake Vyrnwy Hotel. It is the forerunner of two other Welsh events, in Swansea and Llandudno in November, where BHA Cymru expects hundreds of local young job seekers to take part.