The BHA (British Hospitality Association) and The Restaurant Association have collaborated on the latest edition of the Big Hospitality Conversation, an initiative that encourages the hospitality and tourism industry to invest in the employment of young people.
Hospitality businesses from across the South East have been invited to make pledges to create new jobs in the UK for 16-24 year olds. The initiative – which will comprise a host of events across the UK throughout the remainder of 2013 and 2014 – aims to tackle youth unemployment by embracing a common approach to work placements, internships and apprenticeships.
In the past 12 months, over 1200 industry representatives have attended Big Conversation events, pledging the creation of over 30,000 new jobs between now and 2015 – with more to come. Led by the BHA in partnership with Springboard, the Business in the Community (BITC) and Barclays, the latest edition of The Big Conversation initiative will be hosted by BaxterStorey at BMA House in Tavistock Square, central London, and will focus on restaurants and caterers.
BHA CEO, Ufi Ibrahim, says: “Galvanised by the BHA’s Big Hospitality Conversation, Britain’s hospitality industry is leading the fight on youth unemployment. In just 12 months, our industry created 31,000 new career opportunities for 16 to 24 year olds, offering that vital first step onto a rewarding career ladder in hospitality.
“I have no doubt that many of those entering the industry through the Big Hospitality Conversation will make it to the very top, thereby joining the thousands of British chairpersons, managing directors, senior executives and entrepreneurs, who all started out at entry level in hospitality. There are very few other industries that can boast such progression and advancement in career terms.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, adds: “London’s restaurant and hospitality scene is vibrant and diverse, offering an eclectic range of career options for our young people. The Big Hospitality Conversation is an excellent initiative, which is set to support growth and job creation in this world-leading sector. This is in line with my ambitions to promote apprenticeships in the capital, with the aim to provide 250,000 places by 2016.”
The Big Hospitality Conversation comes hot on the heels of the recently-signed agreement between the BHA, the Minister of State for Employment and the Department of Work & Pensions to “better serve the needs of the hospitality sector, while giving those people who wish to pursue a career in hospitality a recognised route into work”.