Hospitality industry bodies including Springboard, Hospitality Action, UKHospitality, the Institute of Hospitality and the Savoy Educational Trust have joined forces to launch CareerScope, a service to support people in the sector who are struggling to find work.
The free service, launching today, will support those within hospitality, leisure and tourism who have lost their job due to Covid-19 get back into work, as well as those struggling to find work. It is backed by industry leaders including Michel Roux Jr, Clare Smyth and Raymond Blanc, and its aim is to bring the hospitality community together, providing advice and resources on developing skills, as well as financial and wellbeing support.
Roux, chef-patron of the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche in London's Mayfair, said: "Each year thousands of young people come to work in our industry, but Covid-19 has forced many businesses to lay off staff to survive. Post-Covid and post-Brexit, I really fear for the future generation of young chefs, waiters, restaurateurs and hoteliers.
"As an industry we had to do something about it. In a time of crisis, it's never been more important to look after our people and ensure they are happy, healthy and ready for work. We must be ready to welcome back those who have long and established careers in the industry, as well as ensuring the next generation of workers are coming through. This is a great initiative and shows that, even when the industry is going through its toughest period, we really care about our people."
Smyth, chef-patron of the two-Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth in London's Notting Hill, said: "We were facing a staffing crisis before Covid-19. We need to take drastic action to ensure there is the next generation of chefs coming through when the industry recovers, when opportunities for chefs to grow and develop will be stronger than ever. CareerScope is a great initiative to help those who've lost their jobs get back on their feet and give them the skills and support to relaunch their career."
CareerScope provides a hub with content on CV writing, career webinars on redundancy advice and financial support, as well as health and wellbeing resources. A digital training academy will keep those out of work up to date on customer service and food safety, as well as confidence and assertiveness webinars.
David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director at the five-red-AA-starred Goring hotel in London's Belgravia, said: "One of the greatest challenges facing the leaders of our hospitality industry is keeping people both young and old interested and engaged when things are so difficult. So many hospitality professionals of all ages have been made redundant in the past few months, through no fault of their own, and sadly many more will probably follow in their footsteps during the next few months.
"This initiative helps us to reach out to these amazing people and keep them excited about our wonderful profession. Be under no illusion, we need them and their skills – when things start to come back, as I believe they will with some speed at some point, it is to these people that we will look to build back our broken businesses and take this incredible industry to even greater heights."
Blanc added: "Government support has been a lifeline for many businesses, but when it runs out we are likely to see a huge number of job losses, which will have a massive impact on the future of our workforce. This is a brilliant industry that looks after its people. When our people need us most, we step up, look after our people's wellbeing, and support them back into work. That's why CareerScope is such an important initiative."