The One and All Foundation, the new charity dedicated to improving diversity in the hospitality sector, officially launched yesterday in London.
The charity, whose creation was first revealed by Caterersearch last month, is backed by a number of hospitality's big hitters, including Peter Lederer, chairman of Gleneagles; Michael Caines, chef and director at Abode Hotels; Debrah Dhugga, former chief executive of Seaham Hall and Andy Kemp, sales director at 3663.
It was launched by employment minister Stephen Timms at Roast Restaurant in London in front of an audience of 130 industry leaders.
Timms praised the initiative and said hospitality employers need to capitalise on the full potential of the diverse workforce. "The industry is already ahead of the curve, and has a great history of offering opportunities, so I'm confident it has has a bright future ahead," he said.
The Foundation was created after research revealed that, while more than 50% of grassroots employees in hospitality are from minority ethnic backgrounds, only 2% of board level directors and 6% of middle management are.
"There is a possibility that the much-maligned 'skills shortage' has never existed. We simply didn't see the talent that our teams already possess."
The Foundation will aim to raise awareness and educate the industry through a series of workshops and seminars, as well as promoting role models in the industry and examples of good practice. It will also facilitate a reverse mentoring programme for talented individuals in the sector.
By Daniel Thomas
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