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Vacancies in the hospitality sector top 400,000

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Hospitality vacancies in the UK have topped 400,000 it was revealed today – as a new £5m initiative got underway to tackle the industry recruitment crisis.

Grassroots campaign Hospitality Rising has won official support from the Hospitality & Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB) to be the strategic face of the industry’s largest ever recruitment project as it seeks to address the “crippling” shortfall.

The HTSB will work into the joint government and industry initiative, the newly-created Hospitality Sector Council.

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The endorsement makes Hospitality Rising the official industry response to the recruitment crisis. It is the first time the industry has pulled together to drive a national campaign of this nature.

It means that the initiative – the brainchild of former Pret marketer Mark McCulloch – has won the backing of representatives of the whole spectrum of hospitality businesses, including UKHospitality, the BII and the British Beer and Pub Association.

The latest stamp of approval follows support from a host of leading employers.

Pret A Manger is the latest to confirm their endorsement, and joins a number of other top firms, including Athenaeum, Buzzworks, DRG, Hawksmoor, Hilton, The Pig Hotel & Limewood Group, Punch Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Wahaca, Welcome Break and more.

Organisers led by McCulloch, who will now move to the role of campaign director reporting to the HTSB, plan to raise up to £5m.

They are encouraging employers across the industry to invest in the campaign, pledging just £10 per employee.

Mr McCulloch said: “To be approved as the industry’s official campaign and response to the recruitment crisis is amazing. It means we can really accelerate what we are doing with Hospitality Rising – we can now go stratospheric.

“We see this approval as a call to action for industry colleagues to come together and get behind the campaign, not just emotionally but, importantly, financially too, as we seek to build a campaign war-chest.  This will allow us to drive our message out to the UK public, tell all our fabulous stories and make hospitality a positive career choice for the very many, not the few.”

UKHospitality figures show that there are 400,000 vacancies across the hospitality sector and a further 100,000 staff absences, meaning that day-to-day the industry is missing half a million workers – more than 20% of the workforce.

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality, said the campaign could not come soon enough.

She commented: “Our latest research shows the issues of recruitment and skills are absolutely mission critical to the hospitality and tourism sectors.

“Many of our members are struggling with a significant level of vacancies; this campaign will enable hospitality to stage a vital intervention, and turn on a generation to the rich and varied roles and career pathways that our vibrant industry offers.”

Tags : hospitalityrecruitmentvacancies
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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