Bristol hospitality businesses including restaurants, hotels and catering establishments from across the region will come together on January 13th 2015 at Mercure hotel to pledge job opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements for young job seekers at the Big Hospitality Conversation.
Bristol’s visitor economy continues to grow steadily and visitor spend is in excess of £1billion annually, while the city is the fourth most visited in England and consistently placed 7th or 8th in the ranking of destinations by overseas visitors to the UK. Statistics indicate that Bristol attracts in the region of 1.6 million overnight trips annually, with one fifth of total domestic tourist nights spent in the South West, of which Bristol is the largest city.
Jacqui Allum, Director of The Big Hospitality Conversation said: “Bristol and the South West have one of the largest hotel and restaurant sectors in the UK in terms of both employees and contribution to the local economy.
“Hospitality is a growing industry which is consistently resilient to economic fluctuations. With its enviably full and varied programmes of festivals, events and cultural activities, Bristol is ideally placed for attracting domestic and overseas tourists and we’re delighted to be working with prosperous local hospitality and tourism businesses who are seeking to attract young people.”
The Big Hospitality Conversation is a nationwide campaign led by the British Hospitality Association in partnership with Springboard, Barclays, Believe in Young People, National Apprenticeship Service, and the DWP. It offers a commitment to creating job opportunities for 16-24 year olds. Over 35,000 job opportunities have so far been created at events like the one at Mercure and the aim is for the hospitality industry to create up to 60,000 jobs for young people by 2016.
This is the 22nd Big Hospitality Conversation to date and will kickstart an ambitious 2015 programme which will seek to generate job opportunities across the UK at venues including Tottenham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Swansea, Belfast, Lambeth, Cardiff, Hackney, Legoland, Bournemouth, Llandudno, Dundee / Perth, Preston / Blackpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Exeter, Maidstone, and the Isle of Wight.
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said: “Hospitality and tourism is a key facet of the economic success of Bristol in terms of its financial contribution to the UK Plc and job creation. It consistently outranks other regional cities for overnight trips and has widespread appeal to both domestic and overseas tourists. For young people living in Bristol, therefore, a career in hospitality makes perfect sense. The breadth of job roles and the training available means that bright and focused young people can succeed very quickly and hospitality offers wonderful growth prospects and job opportunities for all job seekers of any age.”
Patrick Dempsey OBE, Chairman of the Big Hospitality Conversation and MD Premier Inn said: "Hospitality is a vibrant, growing industry with a lot to offer. There is a huge pool of talent in the 16-24 age group and we are committed to helping raise awareness amongst young people that are unemployed, not in education or training, offering significant opportunities for them to join and develop their careers within the hospitality industry. We will train young people, provide them with qualifications and long term prospects within a sustainable and thriving industry.”
Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality & Leisure at Barclays, said: “Barclays research shows that domestic tourists alone are set to contribute over £13bn to the South West economy by 2017 with the local hospitality and leisure sector benefiting from £8.5bn of that spend. As Bristol is central to such spectacular growth, it is important that the Big Hospitality Conversation comes to the city to demonstrate to young job seekers that not only is the hospitality and tourism sector in Bristol an exciting place to work but it also offers real prospects for opportunity and reward.”
Anne Pierce, Springboard CEO said: “We are delighted to part of the Big Hospitality Conversation in Bristol. The South West area has a strong hotel and restaurant base and Springboard welcome the opportunity to work with the industry and promote a career in hospitality to young job seekers. It is recognised that work experience plays a key part in influencing a person’s career choice and Springboard’s quality work experience programme, INSPIRE has been developed to provide job seekers with valuable experience to encourage them into a dynamic and vibrant career within hospitality.”
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