“Big Conversation” kicks off

THE HOSPITALITY and tourism industry is pledging to reduce youth unemployment by encouraging work placements, apprenticeships and job opportunities across the industry during the next three years.


The British Hospitality Association’s “Big Conversation for Hospitality”, launched in London on Friday, is the industry’s biggest job creation drive ever. As part of the initiative, the BHA will urge hospitality and tourism companies to pledge thousands of new jobs, apprenticeships and work placements for 18-24 year olds over the next three years. By 2015, the BHA estimates that 200,000 jobs could be created.


“Hospitality is one of the very few industries in the UK creating jobs, apprenticeships, work placements and career opportunities,” said BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim. “It is one of the very few industries where you can start at the bottom and excel right up to the very top.”


The work being done to attract young people into the industry was spotlighted in a special report in October’s Footprint.


Patrick Dempsey, managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, which includes Premier Inn, is a driving force behind the campaign. He said: “The industry has very many job vacancies for youngsters and the unemployed, and has huge career opportunities at apprenticeship – and other levels – if only more young people realised this.”


There are events planned up and down the UK in the coming weeks as part of the Big Conversation