A summit is being held in York today to investigate new ways of attracting and retaining staff for York’s hospitality industry.
The summit, being held at the city’s Best Western Monkbar Hotel at 2pm, has been co-ordinated by Make It York in partnership with City of York Council, York Hoteliers’ Association and Higher York.
Attended by hoteliers and restaurateurs from venues across the city, leaders in the sector will look at ways to not only encourage more people to join York’s booming hospitality sector, but, more importantly, to promote the sector to young people as a rewarding career with ample opportunities, both here and abroad.
Delegates can expect to hear expert advice on the range of support available in attracting new entrants to the industry.
Graham Usher, general manager of the Best Western Monkbar Hotel, who studied Hospitality and Catering Management at Northampton’s Booth Lane College, will explain the recruitment challenges facing York’s hotels and restaurants and how these are being mirrored across the country.
Mr Usher said: “We don’t currently have enough new entrants coming into the hospitality sector.
“This situation is not unique to York but one that is happening in every town and city throughout the country.”
Charles Storr, economy and enterprise manager, Make It York, said: “We are holding this summit to help young people and hoteliers to access the wide range of support that is already available, as well as open up a discussion around new ideas and initiatives for this sector in York.
“Hospitality is one of the most exciting industries to work in and it is the most diverse and offers a raft of opportunities.”
Graham added: “We’re delighted to partner with Make It York on this summit to ensure we discuss ways in which we can attract more people to work in our industry.
“Whilst the hospitality industry is booming, we need to ensure we attract talented people and communicate the range of careers – everything from chefs to front of house and management – that are available at all levels.”
“I believe that we need to start attracting young people as soon as they reach their teens. Schools have a hugely important role to play by promoting catering and hospitality as a worthy career path to go down.
“We need to work more too with careers advisors and further and higher education to ensure the sectors is represented.
“I have worked in hotels since the age 14 and to me hospitality is more than a job. It’s a way of life and one that has taught me so much.
“No two days are the same. Yes it is hard work, but it is supremely rewarding, and for many has allowed them to learn a valuable trade.”