Restaurants, food service businesses and hotels were among the companies pledging to create more than 850 jobs, apprenticeships and placements for 16 to 24 year olds at a recent hospitality industry event in Dundee.
The Big Hospitality Conversation convention, held at the city’s Apex Hotel last month, attracted over 100 businesses willing to offer job opportunities for young workers entering the hospitality sector.
The Dundee conference was the third Big Hospitality Conversation event to take place in Scotland and it’s said to have brought the total number of opportunities created by the UK-wide initiative up to 48,000.
Organised by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in a UK-wide partnership with charity Springboard and the Department for Work and Pensions, the Big Hospitality Conversation aims to generate 60,000 hospitality “career starts” in the UK by the end of 2016 and to showcase hospitality and tourism as an “exciting career path”.
Representatives from restaurants, hotels and food service management companies from across Scotland and the UK were at the Dundee event.
The conference was also attended by Scottish Government minister for youth and women’s employment, Annabelle Ewing, as well as Scotland’s Young Chef of the Year Adam Newth (see page 6) and MasterChef The Professionals reigning champion Jamie Scott.
Willie Macleod, executive director at BHA Scotland, said the organisation was “absolutely delighted with the huge success” of the Dundee convention.
“For so many companies to come together and successfully attract so many young people towards career opportunities in the hospitality industry is a great achievement,” said Macleod.
“Linking up businesses and young people to have conversations about different roles and the opportunity for development in the hospitality industry really can make a huge impact on a young person’s life which was clearly evident today.”
Kelly Johnstone, Scottish director of Springboard, said the Dundee event “managed to succeed all expectations regarding pledges, which is outstanding”.
“The young people hosting and telling their stories were hugely inspirational for everyone who attended,” said Johnstone.
“It was great to be able to bring so many businesses, people from education and young people together.”
Annabelle Ewing MSP said that Scotland is “blessed with beautiful locations, incredible produce and a tourism sector that offers excellence from hostelling right up to some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and attractions on offer”.
Ewing said the Dundee convention “showed how powerful events like [Big Hospitality Conversation] are in showcasing the huge variety of jobs and opportunities available in Scottish tourism”.