Over 150 new hospitality and tourism jobs have been created in Bournemouth and Dorset after a dedicated employment event.
Overall, 69 work experience placements, 48 jobs and 41 apprenticeships were pledged, with all offers being followed up by industry charity Springboard. Premier Inn itself pledged more than 90 apprenticeships for the area.
The young people in question came from the local Jobcentreplus, Bournemouth and Poole College, and the South West Regional Assessment Centre.
The Big Hospitality Conversation initiative is supported by Springboard, Business in the Community (BiTC) and Barclays Bank. It is aiming to create over 60,000 new job opportunities for people aged 16 to 24, by 2015. So far, it has encouraged companies to create more than 34,000 roles.
Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor Dr. Rodney Cooper, said that both the companies and young people in attendance were keen to work with each other, and thanked the event for visiting the seaside town.
Samantha Richardson, director of the National Coastal Tourism Academy, was also positive. "The industry offers enormous scope from catering and front-of-house to IT, human resources and management," she said. "What's more, skills gained from apprenticeships are highly transferable, offering plenty of national opportunities."
Chief executive of the British Hospitality Assocation, Ufi Ibrahim, said she was happy that so many young people had attended the event, which had highlighted the extent of the options available.
"This demonstrates the desire of young people to learn more about the hospitality industry and of young people to gain valuable insight," she said. "There are opportunities out there for young people."