On Wednesday, Minister for Employment Mims Davies joined over 25 hospitality sector employers and trade associations for a virtual roundtable to discuss the Kickstart Scheme and wider Government efforts to support hiring in the industry.
During the event, hosted by MP for Dudley South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group Mike Wood, the Minister spoke about the opportunities available through Kickstart – the Government’s landmark scheme which funds six-month job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. She highlighted how the scheme has already seen over 36,000 young people kickstart their career – providing them the opportunity to build confidence and skills in the workplace.
Kickstart employer Parkdean Resorts joined the call to share their experience of being involved. The company are giving young people a unique opportunity to launch a new career within the hospitality industry at one of their 67 parks across the UK.
The Minister also spoke about the Department’s additional efforts to help employers in the sector recruit – including a partnership with UKHospitality to better promote jobs in the sector via the Department’s nationwide network of Jobcentres, the DWP’s Sector-Based Work Academy Programme, and the government’s expanded apprenticeship and traineeship offers.
Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said:
“We’re committed at DWP to working with the wide ranging employers in the hospitality sector. We are determined to fully ensure they have the support needed to fill local vacancies and to provide jobseekers with the right training and skills so they’re ready get into this great career and be part of this exciting sector.
“We’re continuing to boost job prospects right across the country – and across all sectors – by working with employers through our Plan for Jobs.”
Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, said:
“This meeting was an excellent opportunity to highlight the enormous job opportunities in the brewing, pub and hospitality sector whist discussing the challenges employers face as they adapt to Brexit whilst responding to the worst pandemic in over a century.
“The minister clearly understands hospitality is not a “low skill” job but rather a career that offers enormous opportunities for new starters to reach the very top. For instance, the Government’s Kickstart programme opens the door for people to join businesses, both large and small, in the UK’s world class hospitality sector.
Steven Alton, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping, commented:
“It was hugely valuable for the Minister to hear directly from passionate BII members about how pubs can provide unique career opportunities in our highly skilled and vibrant sector. However, the challenges that they are currently facing, particularly surrounding staffing shortages, are being compounded by the additional employees needed to manage Covid restrictions, the significant impact of Brexit on the labour market and the business fragility of pubs with the majority still loss making with restrictions.
“It was incredibly encouraging to hear from Minister Mims Davies and colleagues from the DWP on the support that is being given via the Kickstart programme and other initiatives, and would welcome further collaboration to ensure the promotion of the trusted career pathways and development programmes that are available in our vibrant and exciting sector.”
The Kickstart Scheme forms part of the Government’s multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs.
To help spearhead efforts to get Brits back into work the DWP has hired 13,500 new dedicated Work Coaches with recent employment figures showing a continued improvement in vacancies and the number of workers on payrolls.
To find out more about the Kickstart scheme click here.