Scottish businesses unite to build upon ‘hospitality legacy’ with over 300 new job opportunities for young people

Representatives from over 100 Scottish businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector have pledged to create job opportunities which will build legacy for hospitality in Scotland, and give tourism the opportunity to succeed, grow and compete internationally.

Meeting over one hundred young jobseekers at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel on 22nd October 2014 at The Big Hospitality Conversation, the companies made 342 pledges, which included 97 jobs, 65 apprenticeships and 180 work experience opportunities which will help to reduce youth unemployment amongst 16-24 year olds in Scotland.

The Big Hospitality Conversation is a nationwide campaign led by the British Hospitality Association in partnership with Believe in Young People, Springboard, Barclays, Business in the Community, People First and the DWP. It offers a commitment to creating job opportunities for 16-24 year olds. Over 34,000 job opportunities have so far been created at events like the one at Glasgow Marriott, which included an inspirational talk from Scotsman Alastair Storey, the Chairman of BaxterStorey the UK’s fifth largest contract caterer and its biggest independent player.

Alastair Storey, Chairman of BaxterStorey said: “The spotlight has been shining on Scotland for most of 2014 with the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the Year of Homecoming events, not to mention the political activities, so now’s the time for the Scottish hospitality industry to capitalise on its international notoriety. The Big Hospitality Conversation in Glasgow was inspiring and it was wonderful to see so many high profile businesses coming together to provide opportunities to the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association said: “Hospitality is a vibrant and successful industry with even greater growth prospects offering a vast range of career opportunities. The Big Hospitality Conversation has been changing young people’s lives, one apprenticeship, one job or one work experience at a time, and thereby transforming local communities. Our aim at the BHA is to bring the industry together and create 60,000 job opportunities for 16-24 year olds by 2016.”

William Macleod, Executive Director BHA Scotland said: “Tourism and hospitality are almost unique in their capacity to build international cultural understanding. What’s important now is that tourism is given every support to succeed, grow and compete internationally. The sector has consistently demonstrated resilience, adaptability and innovation, especially over the last five years or so and is showing clear signs of recovery. This recovery can be sustained if the economic and political conditions are in place to support this. There are a number of British and international hospitality organisations that are investing in Scotland and others have declared their interest in doing the same.”

Research from Barclays estimates that domestic tourists will contribute over £13bn to the Scottish economy by 2017 and that foreign tourism spend is set to increase in Scotland by 40%.

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