Front of house figurehead Fred Sirieix has launched a new campaign to raise the profile of careers in the hospitality sector in a bid to tackle the sector's staffing and skills crisis.
Sirieix, the star of Channel 4's First Dates and former general manager of Galvin at Windows in the London Hilton Park Lane, hopes Jobs with a Smile, a new promotion for Hospitality Works - a national campaign by charity Springboard, will raise awareness of the range of opportunities offered by the hospitality sector.
The announcement comes after Sirieix called for 2020 to be a year of real change in perceptions of the industry, after years of talk.
Speaking exclusively to The Caterer, Sirieix said: "We need to advertise the hospitality industry in a positive way that will make people say ‘oh my God, I want to join this industry because it is fun it is exciting, I want to go and work in this industry'.
"I'm launching the campaign; it's about talking to people and it's about creating a coalition of the willing. Because this thing is not something I can do by myself, nor you, or a hotel group. We are all working towards the same goal."
The Springboard charity wrote on Instagram: "Thank you for supporting us with this fantastic campaign."
Government figures show a 4% vacancy rate in the food, drink and accommodation sector, amounting to 90,000 vacancies. Extrapolating this to the wider hospitality and tourism industry it is estimated this could be around 128,000 vacancies in the UK.
We need to advertise the hospitality industry in a positive way that will make people say ‘oh my God, I want to join this industry
With Brexit approaching staffing shortages are likely to be exacerbated, particularly given the skills based immigration policy being muted by the government.
Sirieix has long been a promoter for roles in the hospitality industry and founded National Waiter's Day, an annual celebration of front of house staff, in 2012.
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