Over 500 London businesses and jobseekers came together at the Big Hospitality Conversation on Thursday, 14th April. Organised in collaboration with the North London Hoteliers Association, and sponsored by the Novotel in London Wembley, the event presented key employer and apprenticeship case studies from a host of hotels across North London.
Organised by the British Hospitality Association, this nationwide campaign aims to tackle youth unemployment and to encourage the creation of meaningful career paths, apprenticeships, and structured work placements for under 25s in the hospitality and tourism industry. Over 57,000 job opportunities have so far been created at events like the one in Wembley and the aim is for the hospitality industry to create up to 60,000 jobs for young people by 2016.
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “In the past three years we have galvanised the entire industry. Over 3,500 industry leaders pledged their support to The Big Hospitality Conversation showcasing government the power of the hospitality and tourism industry in generating high quality apprenticeships and meaningful careers for our young people.
"The 40th event to date allowed London youth to take the chance to meet great employers in the region and leave with a job offer! We are proud that our campaign continues to demonstrate the importance of action when it comes inspiring the next generation.”
Working in collaboration with the North London Hoteliers Association, the Wembley Big Hospitality Conversation highlighted the extensive spectrum of careers in the hospitality industry. Panellists discussed their work experiences in a variety of roles including HR and marketing fields alongside front-of-house and culinary positions.
The Big Hospitality Conversation saw more than 100 young jobseekers from across North and West London attend the main conference and a further 300 attend the careers exhibition. The event featured one-to-one and group conversations with key business leaders, students and young jobseekers.
“The Big Hospitality Conversation was a great opportunity for young people coming into our industry to get a real flavour and understanding of the entire scope of careers in hospitality. I believe people often underestimate the enormous impact service jobs have in the UK--especially London. From general positions to speciality fields, hospitality businesses are always looking for young people to employ,” said keynote speaker and general manager of the Danubius Hotel, Steven Van Herwijnen.
Anne Pierce, Chief Executive of Springboard, said: “We were delighted to be a part of the Big Hospitality Conversation in Wembley. As one of the founder partners of the Big Hospitality Conversation, Springboard is thrilled with the number of pledges the campaign has seen to date and our work with the BHA in bringing businesses and young people together. Work experience is a key factor in influencing a young person’s career choice and it’s vital that employers continue to offer and showcase the great career opportunities in hospitality, leisure and tourism.”
Participating businesses included: Ibis Euston St Pancras, Pullman, Park Plaza, Delaware Norh, Hilton Islington, Melia Whitehouse, Plaza Premium Group, Oxford Brookes University, Leeds University Business School, Waltham Forest College, Majestic Hotel, Novotel Wembley, Regents Park & Maida Vale Marriott, Westminster Kingsway College, Holiday Inn Regents Park and Holiday Inn Brent Cross, Ibis London City, AccorHotels UK & Ireland, Teens and Toddlers, Danubius Hotel, Greenwich and Bromley College, Hospitality People Ltd and more.
To make a pledge in the Big Hospitality Conversation please contact the BHA BHConversation@bha.org.uk or 020 74047744.