BHA campaign sees Londoners look to hospitality and tourism for jobs

London jobseekers and the capital's tourism and hospitality businesses met with the Deputy Mayor for Business Rajesh Agrawal declaring 'London is open to new talent”.

It comes as a result of the British Hospitality Association (BHA)'s successful nationwide campaign - The big Hospitality Conversation - working with the Department for Work & Pensions, the National Apprenticeship Service and Springboard.

The initiative has excelled its aim to create 60,000 apprenticeships by 2020, as it has already created more than 70,000. Yesterday's event was the third time it has been held at City Hall and was this year supported by Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business (pictured right).

The BHA is the forum for leading businesses in the UK hospitality and tourism industry. The industry is the fourth largest in the UK employing some 4.49 million people.

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said, “I am proud to support the Big Hospitality Conversation, which promotes jobs, apprenticeships and work placements in hospitality.

'Apprenticeships and work placements can be a fantastic route into a rewarding career: young people can gain valuable experience while earning money, while employers can attract new blood to their businesses.'

Agrawal continued, 'At least 40,000 people now start an apprenticeship every year in London, which is more than double the number five years ago.

'As the Mayor and I have made clear to businesses in recent weeks, London is open to new talent – some of which I’m sure will be discovered at City Hall.”

Ufi Ibrahim (pictured left), BHA's Chief Executive, said, “Most Londoners come across hospitality every day, whether it’s the person serving their morning latte, the waitress in a restaurant or the cinema ticket taker.

'They are the welcome seen by the millions who live here and our millions of visitors. We want this to continue, which is why we encourage young and old people to consider the benefits of a career in the sector.

'The Big Hospitality Conversation has thus far seen 70,000 people take up apprenticeships or jobs in the sector, 27,000 in London.'

Ibrahim concluded, “We are concentrating on encouraging young people here to consider joining an industry in which, if you work hard with the right attitude, offers fantastic opportunities to move fast up the career ladder and enjoy the rewards. And along the way you bring happiness to others.”

Event organisers hope to beat previous successful events which have attracted over 100 hospitality business and 500 job seekers and resulted in over 900 on-the-spot job offers.

This year’s event attracted household names including Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Costa, Neds Noodle Bar, Benugo, Yo! Sushi, Premier Inn, BaxterStorey, Starbucks, Paul UK, Croydon College and Lambeth College.

Sarah Nerys-Judge, Apprentice, Hyatt Regency London, said, “I joined Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill in June this year as a chef apprentice; in my short time at the five star hotel I have learnt a lot with such real kitchen experience.

'I have always grown up around food, starting with my Grandmother, and to do something I love, at a young age, at such a wonderful place, really is a blessing.

'It has opened my eyes to the hospitality industry and all it does for our communities, not to mention all the doors it will open for me in the future.

'Knowing the feeling I get when experiencing great food, and being able to give someone else that same feeling is all I wish to achieve.'

Anne Pierce, Chief Executive, Springboard, said, “Springboard is proud to have been one of the Conversation’s founding partners.

'Knowing we’ve helped to generate over 70,000 pledges with the BHA is nothing short of an outstanding achievement.

'Work experience remains a decisive factor in young people’s career choices, and by bringing together employers with potential young recruits, we’re making a difference to lives and businesses in hospitality.”