Trade pledges job opportunities

Scottish businesses join forces to build on ‘hospitality legacy’

• More than 100 businesses were represented at the event in Glasgow.

REPRESENTATIVES from more than 100 Scottish tourism and hospitality businesses united in Glasgow last week and pledged to create new job opportunities for young people.

Companies including Hilton, Accor Hotels, Town House Collection, Gleneagles, Portland Hotels, Whitbread and Apex Hotels, met with more than 100 young jobseekers at this year’s Big Hospitality Conversation, held in the city’s Marriott Hotel on October 22.
The firms made a total of 342 pledges, which included 97 jobs, 65 apprenticeships and 180 work experience opportunities, at the event which is led by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in partnership with Believe in Young People, Springboard, Barclays, Business in the Community, People First and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
William Macleod, executive director of BHA Scotland, said the initiative aims to build upon the ‘hospitality legacy’ in Scotland and help the tourism industry to continue to grow and prosper.
“Tourism and hospitality are almost unique in their capacity to build international cultural understanding,” said Macleod.
“What’s important now is that tourism is given every support to succeed, grow and compete internationally.
“The sector has consistently demonstrated resilience, adaptability and innovation, especially over the last five years or so and is showing clear signs of recovery. This recovery can be sustained if the economic and political conditions are in place to support this.
“There are a number of British and international hospitality organisations that are investing in Scotland and others have declared their interest in doing the same.”
Alastair Storey, chairman of contract catering firm BaxterStorey, who spoke at the event, said: “The spotlight has been shining on Scotland for most of 2014 with the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup and the Year of Homecoming events, not to mention the political activities, so now’s the time for the Scottish hospitality industry to capitalise on its international notoriety. The Big Hospitality Conversation in Glasgow was inspiring and it was wonderful to see so many high profile businesses coming together to provide opportunities to the next generation of hospitality professionals.”