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UKH launches Jobcentre Plus initiative

Published:  03 June, 2021

UK Hospitality (UKH) has joined forces with the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to launch a Jobcentre Plus initiative to promote sector opportunities to jobseekers.

As part of the initiative, UKH will this month be running sessions in partnership with Jobcentre Plus work coaches in every region of England, as well as across Scotland and Wales, promoting the diverse employment opportunities available in hospitality. 

The launch comes as the sector, which pre-Covid employed 3.2 million people in the UK making it the third largest private sector employer, faces a shortage of workers following 15 months of pandemic-related disruption.   

“We’re delighted to be working with the government to restore confidence in a sector which is a stable employer for millions of skilled and unskilled workers across a wide range of diverse roles, and which can play a constructive role in tackling unemployment,” said Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKH.

“Staff at all levels play a crucial role delivering wonderful hospitality at the very heart of their local communities and employers large and small offer high-class training schemes, apprenticeships and career development pathways,” she said. 

The government could help to restore confidence in the sector so once again it would be as seen as a “dynamic sector of growth, and a provider of fulfilling careers that will help power the UK’s economic and social recovery,” she added.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “It’s been a challenging time for the hospitality sector but our roadmap is giving employers the confidence to hire, and our brilliant Work Coaches are helping them recruit local talent.

“At the same time, our Plan for Jobs is levelling up opportunity across the UK, supporting workers of all ages to retrain, build new skills, and get back into work as we push to build back better.”

A recent UKH survey of hundreds of sector businesses found thousands of vacancies at all levels in the sector, with the vast majority (80%) reporting vacancies for front-of-house roles, such as waiting and bar staff, and 85% in need of chefs. 

Nearly half have housekeeping vacancies and 43% are looking for assistant or general managers. The survey suggested a current vacancy rate across the sector of 9%, which implies a shortage of 188,000 workers.