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Tourism job drive across region

Key partners and industry leaders are working together to address the urgent need to fill hospitality vacancies across the region.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Growth Platform, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Marketing Liverpool and Liverpool Hospitality are working together to attract job seekers into the City Region’s thriving and dynamic hospitality and tourism sector.

Pre-pandemic, the sector was worth around £4.9 billion to the region and employed over 55,000 people in bars, restaurants, hotels, attractions, and the wider supplier chain. It has been hit hard throughout the pandemic and although restrictions have in the main been lifted, the impact of the lockdowns, EU Exit and other challenges has found the sector now facing a new challenge – the recruitment of new and experienced staff.

One of the initiatives being developed with the DWP, is a bespoke hospitality pre-employment package, where job seekers can attend and gain specific industry skills and be guaranteed a job interview. The sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) run by DWP, provides two weeks employment training, free for candidates wanting to find a job in this exciting and vibrant sector.

Pete Sandman, Head of Visitor Economy at Growth Platform, said: “This initiative is critical to the sector and comes at a pivotal time. As people emerge from the restrictions, we have seen a surge in demand for all services provided by our visitor economy across the region, from pubs, cafés and attractions through to businesses within the supply chain. The jobs within tourism and hospitality are wide ranging and is not just about customer service but includes technical staff, project management, data analysts as well as chefs, bar operators and table staff. A career in hospitality is varied, exciting and extremely rewarding and makes a brilliant choice for all sorts of people.”

Councillor Mike Wharton, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy, said: “The hospitality and tourism sector is a key part of our economy and will be vital to driving our recovery as we emerge from the pandemic. We’ve done all we can to support the sector over the last 18 months, distributing £45 million to more than 4,500 businesses, and they stand ready to benefit from the pent-up demand we are now seeing. There are a wide range of opportunities available within the hospitality sector right now, that people across the City Region can benefit from, and I’d urge anyone looking for work or a career change to take advantage.”

Live vacancies have been launched on visitliverpool.biz, and Growth Platform’s specialist skills brokerage service will also help businesses with recruitment and training to enhance skills and productivity.

Steven Hesketh, Deputy Chair of Liverpool Hospitality, said: “Our industry has already shown how incredibly resilient we are and those who are working in the sector currently are doing an incredible job under massive pressures.

“Liverpool City Region is renowned for its world-class entertainment, hospitality and leisure and we need to build on our reputation and attract brilliant people into the sector to start a new career. There are roles that suit all types of skills and personalities and there are plenty of opportunities for development and progression throughout the industry. We need new staff to cope with demand. It has been highly positive working alongside DWP, Growth Platform and other partners to promote the sector and provide practical routes into jobs.”