A new website connecting hospitality operators with young people eligible for the government's Kickstart scheme has been launched by HospitalityUnite.
The website will provide a free online service to connect hospitality businesses with 16- to 24-year-olds wanting to start a career in the restaurant, pub, hotel, bar and wider leisure sector, to benefit from the government-funded scheme.
The new initiative by Harri, which launched not-for-profit jobs portal HospitalityUnite in March, has announced it is turning its attention to the government's Kickstart scheme to help place young people in hospitality roles.
The project already has the backing of UKHospitality and charity Springboard, as well as several hospitality groups including BrewDog and the Ivy Collection. With the Job Retention Scheme ending completely on 31 October, the HospitalityUnite team anticipates more than 200 businesses will sign up.
The original HospitalityUnite not-for-profit jobs portal was created in March free-of-charge by the team at Harri, the online people management platform. Operating companies taking part will receive exclusive access to these approved candidates and free use of the hiring platform to post jobs, screen candidates, conduct video interviewing and send offer letters. Free employability training will also be available.
Harri director Pete Willis said that "the need for homegrown talent in hospitality will be vital through the course of 2021" particularly with the imminent "Brexit barriers to entry", which come into effect from 1 January.
He said: "We welcome all operators throughout hospitality and tourism to join the HospitalityUnite Kickstart initiative, which, in partnership with the Youth Group, will seamlessly process your government application on your behalf again at no charge."
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, which is supporting the initiative, said HospitalityUnite's involvement was "a really positive way" of promoting the government's Kickstart programme.
She added: "We know from experience that hospitality benefits hugely from the enthusiasm, talents and innovation of young people in its workforce.
"As hospitality embarks on a journey of recovery after the impacts of the Covid crisis, those attributes will be more valuable than ever, and the portal will be a great access point for people looking to break into exciting hospitality careers."
The government's £2b Kickstart grants launched earlier this month to fund businesses for six months of 25 hours a week work at national minimum wage for 16- to -24 year-olds, giving them a ‘kickstart' into their working lives.