Nationwide campaign comes to St James Park, Newcastle, to inspire the next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals

Newcastle business leaders including restaurants, hotels and caterers from across the North East will come together on Thursday 14th May 2015 at St James Park Newcastle to pledge job opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements for young jobseekers at The Big Hospitality Conversation.

The capital city of the North East of England and a Centre of Cultural Excellence, Newcastle is awash with restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and tourist attractions including the award-winning Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Newcastle United Football Club, the prestigious Theatre Royal and a busy Harbour area which acts as a passenger terminus for ferries and cruises.  Noteworthy Victorian Buildings, St Nicholas’ Cathedral, three large shopping centres and a vibrant museum scene makes Newcastle a thriving visitor destination.

The hospitality and tourism industry in the North East supports over 10% of the region’s work force and contributes £1bn to the regional economy. Ranked as the UK’s fifth favourite city by Guardian and Observer readers in 2013, a Newcastle Government report cites tourism as a key priority for the city over the coming years.

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said:Newcastle and the North East is a popular and vibrant visitor destination offering cultural diversity and a buzzing restaurant and bar scene.

For young people in the region starting out in their careers, hospitality and tourism is an attractive prospect, offering the chance to get involved in a dynamic, growing and competitive industry with great prospects for growth. The breadth of job roles and the training available means that new entrants can succeed very quickly, climbing the career ladder towards even greater opportunities in the industry.” 

Samantha Doyle, sales and marketing manager for Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said: As the UK’s leading provider of catering services Sodexo Prestige understands the importance of attracting talented and forward thinking young people to the hospitality industry. 

“The Big Hospitality Conversation will provide a superb opportunity for the region’s hospitality businesses to come face to face with young people, who could be their employees of the future.” 

The Big Hospitality Conversation, a nationwide campaign led by the BHA united more than 1,500 business to provide hospitality and tourism careers. Over 40,000 career opportunities have so far been created at events like the one at St James Park and the BHA’s aim is to create up to 60,000 jobs for young people by 2016.

This is the 28th Big Conversation to date and part of an ambitious 2015 programme which will seek to generate job opportunities across the UK at venues including, Derby, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, London Charlton, Hackney, Swansea, Llandudno, Maidstone, Leeds, Lancashire, LegoLand, Milton Keynes and the Isle of Wight.

Businesses wishing to attend the event are invited to register at and job seekers can register their attendance at

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