Bristol Hoteliers Welcome ‘Have a Go at Hospitality’ Event

Bristol hoteliers helped give students and jobseekers the chance to ‘have a go at hospitality’ at a special event aimed at encouraging more young people to pursue a career in the sector.

The three-hour event took place at DoubleTree by Hilton Bristol City Centre and was organised by Seetec Pluss and Bristol City College.

Other supporters included VisitWest, North Somerset Council and Weston College.

It is the first time this event has happened but members of the Bristol Hoteliers Association (BHA) welcomed the initiative and said they hope it will be repeated.

BHA Chair Raphael Herzog said:
“The aim of the event was simply for people who already work within the hospitality industry to share their experiences with attendees, to enable everyone who went to get a good flavour of what it is like to work in our sector.”

A combination of the impact of Brexit and pandemic-enforced lockdowns have contributed to a severe staff shortage in the sector, which has hampered hospitality businesses in their attempts to recover from the various crises of the past few years.

They are also facing challenges of soaring energy bills, supplier costs and the need to at least meet minimum wage requirements.

Mr Herzog said:
“The past few years have been incredibly difficult and the hospitality sector was hit particularly hard by both Brexit and the impact of the pandemic.

“We are often the first sector to be closed during the various lockdowns, and among the last to be allowed to re-open.

“The impact of Brexit limited the available workforce and staff who left during lockdowns found employment in other sectors and did not return.

“As we have all tried to get our businesses back up and running, it has been incredibly difficult because of a lack of staff.

“That’s why we were so pleased when this event was organised, to help show people what an exciting and vibrant industry we have and help highlight the many opportunities that it can lead to.

“Traditionally students have taken jobs in hospitality as a ‘stop gap’ but events like this show that there our sector can provide long, varied and enjoyable careers

“There are many benefits of working in hospitality, which can include excellent training, free meals, great service charges in restaurants and bars, complementary weekend stays and discounted rates at hotels.

“Many hotels are really working hard to offer a much better work life balance than other industries as well as very competitive wages, with bonuses and other incentives.

“Young people traditionally seem to overlook hospitality as a long-term career option but there really are so many opportunities and doors waiting to be opened, as those who attended this ‘have a go at hospitalty’ event discovered.

“The BHA would like to thank everyone involved in organising and taking part in the event, for doing their part to showcase our sector and shine a spotlight on the wide variety of career paths we have to offer.”