The Great House of Commons Future of Hospitality Debate

Published
12 Apr 2019

12 Apr 2019

The great House of Commons future of hospitality debate

On the 21st March 2019, the Hospitality Jobs UK team decamped to the Jubilee Room and Committee Room 14 at the House of Commons to launch what we hope will be the first of many exchanges in a great debate on making the future of hospitality in the UK even brighter.

Hosted by Hospitality Jobs UK directors Nick Clover and Dawn Redman, over 100 attendees and special guests gathered to:

  • explore new approaches and solutions,
  • tackle the legislative challenges and political issues, and
  • adopt a long-term strategic approach to hiring the right people.

Opening the meeting

Nick Clover and Dawn Redman opened the meeting informing attendees that the goal behind the creation of online jobs portal was to become “ambassadors and partners to [Britain’s] amazing hospitality industry”.

The company aims to achieve this through the delivery of relevant candidates to its commercial partners, by focusing on issues critical to the sector, and by finding common, workable solutions through thought leadership and a partnership between the private and public sectors.”

Underlining the importance of the sector to the UK, Dawn reminded attendees that 1 in 20 employees in the UK work in hospitality and that the sector generates over £130bn to the British economy as a whole.

The underlying principles behind Hospitality Jobs UK was to “ensure delivery on your roles and have developed a slick platform to make the user experience for employers and job seekers alike an easy, world class process.”

Dawn emphasised that there is a chef shortage in the UK which needs to be addressed so as not to affect the viability of certain businesses within the sector. She expressed great hope in the growing apprenticeship schemes in promoting the industry as a viable career choice and in upskilling employees already in the sector.

Nick underlined the commitment of Hospitality Jobs UK to the wider health of the sector by announcing a “10% donation of all sales” to hospitality-related charities Only a Pavement Away and Springboard.

Notable attendees

All attendees and contributors to the meeting were highly engaged in the subject matter and they offered innovative and creative approaches to the opportunities and the challenges faced by the sector.

Nature of discussions

Following the opening introduction by Nick and Dawn, speeches were given by Kate Nicholls, Brigid Simmonds, and Nigel Evans, all of whom shared their experiences of and opinions on all issues relating to the hospitality sector with a particular focus on:

  • the future of the sector, its current contribution to the economy, and what needs to be done to continue to advance the sector and its future prospects in the UK,
  • initiatives to support attracting more people to the sector, and
  • removing the snobbery around working in hospitality and replacing any negative images of working in the sector with positive case studies which reflect the reality of working life and the opportunities available in hospitality.

Marco Reick, Dan Grantham, Nigel Evans, and David Wilson were active participants in the panel debate designed to bridge any potential gap of understanding between politicians and operators within the sector. Discussions included current government and public sector initiatives focused on hospitality and a healthy exchange of views on how to attract and retain talent to individual sector companies and to the industry as a whole.

Operators and politicians then discussed how we collectively need to work together to pursue the right decisions to encourage positive industry decisions amongst the challenges we’re facing.

In conclusion

This was an exciting meeting for politicians, operators, interested parties, and other stakeholders held within the heart of British democracy. Uniting all participants and attendees was a recognition of the importance of hospitality to the UK as a whole and our shared interest in securing an even brighter future for it.