Big Hospitality Conversation arrives in Bath – generating over 350 pledges

The big conversation logo 2 iconMore than 350 pledges of jobs [112], apprenticeships[102], and work experience placements [153,] were made in Bath [Tuesday 15th October] at the latest stop of the British Hospitality Association’s  nationwide Big Hospitality Conversation tour to find quality apprenticeships and job opportunities for young people within the hospitality industry.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has partnered with Barclays to support the industry body’s goal of creating 60,000 new jobs in the sector by 2015.  The Big Hospitality Conversation showcases the variety of career paths available to young people in the hospitality industry, and help local employers to find young people who are keen to start a career with them.

The event held at City of Bath College was by attended by over 40 local businesses including Bath Priory, The Pig, Blackman Park, Premier Inn, and The Royal Crescent Hotel. Key speakers included Matt Atkinson, Principle of Bath College, BHA regional representative and Director of Calcot Manor Paul Sadler and Peter Hancock, CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels.

Research shows that the hospitality and leisure industry is a crucial creator of jobs and growth across Britain with over 2.7m people employed in the sector and is the 4th largest industry in the UK, delivering £53bn a year in GVA (wages and profits) to the economy.

Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays, commented: “As one of the largest industries in the country, the hospitality and leisure sector has an important role to play in driving growth across the UK.  Indeed it is vital to Bath’s economy which welcomes 4.5million visitors each year, generating over £348m. Barclays is committed to supporting this growth, and it’s vital that our next generation of workers are able to access the varied, and fulfilling career opportunities that exist within it.”

The BHA has backed LifeSkills, a programme created by Barclays to help equip one million young people with the skills they need to make the transition from education to employment. BHA members will list thousands of work experience opportunities on the LifeSkills website

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive, British Hospitality Association, said: “Galvanised by the BHA's - Big Hospitality Conversation - Britain's hospitality industry is leading the fight on youth unemployment. In just twelve months, our industry created 31,000 new career opportunities for 16 to 24 year olds, offering that vital first step onto a rewarding career ladder in hospitality.

“I have no doubt that many of those entering the industry through the Big Hospitality Conversation will make it to the very top, thereby joining the thousands of British chairpersons, managing directors, senior executives and entrepreneurs, who all started out at entry level in hospitality.  There are very few other industries that can boast such progression and advancement in career terms".

With almost a million young people out of work, Barclays is focused on helping to tackle this issue employing over 1,000 apprentices in the last year. Through its LifeSkills: Bridges Into Work programme the bank is offering to help any UK business with free support and advice on how to set up an apprenticeship programme of their own.

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