Several hospitality heavyweights have signed up to a programme of autumn school visits designed to encourage more young people to consider a career in hospitality.
The school visits mark the start of a recruitment drive by the Choose Hospitality Pledge, an initiative launched in 2021 to stimulate interest in the benefits of a career in hospitality.
Seven hospitality companies and organisations including Compass, Sodexo, and Punch Pubs have signed up to the Pledge to become programme ambassadors.
The first school visit is set to take place on 14 November in Barking, London, with other school visits to follow in locations such as Birmingham, Hampshire, and Hertfordshire.
Co-founded by Nestlé Professional, Choose Hospitality and Springboard, the programme is seeking more ambassadors to educate secondary school students about the industry's wide range of entry-level roles and training opportunities, as well as the many career pathways on offer.
Ambassadors will be equipped with campaign toolkits to engage with schoolchildren and demonstrate the opportunities that exist in the industry.
Commenting on the need for the new school's programme this autumn, Nestlé Professional managing director, Katya Simmons, said the sector is more than twice as likely than other industries to experience challenges filling vacancies. To address this, she said the programme is "calling on industry to sign up to the Pledge as ambassadors and visit their local secondary schools" and promote the industry to young people.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls OBE said the industry needs to "shine a light" on the career opportunities the sector can provide and "education plays a key role in attracting the next generation of British talent".