Fall in love with hospitality: The Big Hospitality Conversation

The hospitality industry was shown the love this Valentine’s Day at Liverpool Football Club during The Big Hospitality Conversation. Led by our partner the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in partnership with Springboard, Believe in Young People, DWP, National Apprenticeship Services and Barclays, the event brings together influential industry leaders from the top hospitality businesses with young people to do three things:

  • Stimulate an important dialogue between them on employability skills, work experience and apprenticeships
  • Encourage and offer more quality work experiences, more apprenticeships, and employ more local young people
  • Through BHA, take a powerful message to Government to gain proper recognition about the important and significant contribution the hospitality industry is playing to stimulate economic recovery, address youth employment and stimulate growth

A well-established movement, this event followed the success of its predecessors. BHA CEO, Ufi Ibrahim, opened the event with an inspirational speech aimed at the plethora of young people in the room ‘hospitality businesses are growing and need you’. The purpose of the event was also to launch Hospitality Works 2017, taking place all month, with the aim of matching job vacancies in the industry with those looking for work.  The Big Hospitality Conversation initiative, chaired by Managing Director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, Patrick Dempsey OBE, aims to create thousands of new job opportunities for young people.

Patrick Dempsey OBE is the ultimate role model in the hospitality industry, having worked his way up from a pot washer in a motorway service station, and this was a recurring message throughout the day. Two out of three executives in the industry have worked their way from the bottom up and the majority of those who shared their story did just that. Guest speakers from high profile companies such as Greene King, hosts Liverpool Football Club, MIYAGI and Hestia Careers told stories of successful and enjoyable careers within hospitality in the local area. A key message from all was that the huge benefit of this type of work is making a difference to other people through an experience economy – reiterated through the Twitter tag for Hospitality Works #JobsWithASmile.

The crowd of nearly 300 attendees also heard from young people who have completed work experience and apprenticeships in the industry, full of confidence and enthusiasm for their peers to do the same. The talks part of the day came to a close with a chance for employers and future employees to have a ‘big conversation’ around the industry and employability – a rare opportunity. This was followed by an inspirational and emotional Q&A session where young attendees told their stories, many which involved previous struggles, and decision makers volunteered to give them a chance that others had not.

During the Careers Fair section of the day, it was inspiring to see so many people keen to work in the industry that Shield Safety fully supports. We wish all the attendees the very best of luck in their joint future ventures.

The information contained in this blog article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official Food Safety, Fire Safety and Health & Safety advice. Shield Safety take no responsibility if the information in the blog article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Shield Safety services please do call our team on 020 3740 3744 or email hello@shieldsafety.co.uk.

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