The British Hospitality Association (BHA), which, incorporating the Restaurant Association, champions the interests of the hospitality industry, has been working with the food and restaurant operation Benugo to inspire a new generation of hospitality professionals.
Specifically, Benugo (right, at the V&A) has been using its training academy to help provide homeless people in London with the skills needed to join the industry - the fourth largest industry sector in the UK, it says. Receiving a boost from Government, the Tourism Minister, Helen Grant, visited the project's work at the House of Saint Barnabus in Soho. The minister met apprentices on the scheme, before meeting other industry leaders to discuss progress on both this scheme, and the BHA's 'Big Hospitality Conversation' programme.
Helen Grant, speaking after the visit said, "Working in the tourism and hospitality sector can offer a rewarding, challenging and fulfilling career and the British Hospitality Association’s Big Conversation initiative is playing a part in highlighting the opportunities available to young people. The apprentices I have met at the House of Saint Barnabus have shown tremendous enthusiasm and it has been encouraging to hear the importance industry leaders are placing on this scheme making it a win win situation for both young people and those businesses involved."
Attendees to the 'Big Conversation' talks included Patrick Dempsey, Managing Director of Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants and Thomas Dubaere, Managing Director of Accor UK & Ireland, who said, "We are keen to highlight the vast opportunities that hospitality has to offer young people in the UK. We have welcomed the chance to discuss this with the Minister and hope we have been able to show the real difference that hospitality can make to unemployment through apprenticeships, structured work placements and job creation."
The Big Hospitality Conversation is the industry’s flagship campaign to inspire the next generation through job creation, apprenticeships and work placements. It focuses on the thousands of young people who are looking for work, in partnership with Business in the Community, Springboard and leading hospitality businesses. So far it has hosted 10 events across the UK, generating 36,000 new job opportunities.
Picture credit: Benugo
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