The initiative, which is being led by the Perceptions Group, a collective of industry executives dedicated to raising the profile of the industry, and which will be funded by the Hospitality Guild, will run throughout 2013 and 2014.
It will aim to create 15,000 two-week work placements at companies across the sector to give people a better insight into what has been dubbed a 'dynamic, innovative' industry, in a bid to help fill an estimated 100,000 jobs over the next five years.
“The industry offers a huge amount of career opportunities,” said Keith Knowles, chief executive of Beds and Bars who has been spearheading the Perceptions Group. “but it is often by accident that young people realise there is a fantastic career to be had in this dynamic, innovative industry.
"With a million young people unemployed we are well placed to be part of the solution in offering not only jobs, but also long term careers.”
Pub and bar companies are being urged to sign up to the programme and give their support by offering work experience to candidates who will have been put through pre-employment academies and workshops to improve their employability skills.
Once on placements, candidates will undertake a mixture of practical and on-line training that will cover areas such as customer service, sales training and team working. They will also be given the chance to take their and Food Service and Health & Safety Level 2.
It is hoped that the scheme will not only introduce the industry to young people but will arm them with the skills ready to move up through it.
“Giving young people the confidence, skills and basic qualifications to enter the industry will see them well placed to pursue a career," said Anthony Pender, director of Yummy Pubs, who has seen three apprentices already enter the sector through the scheme.
Knowles said many people were unaware of the quick progression route that is available throughout the pub sector with some able to make deputy manager by the age of 24 and run a pub business by 27.
“The aim of the work placement programme is to demonstrate these opportunities and encourage those talented individuals that have the drive and ambition to join us, gain the skills and experience, and help satisfy the high levels of customer service expected by consumers today and in the years ahead," he said.
Employers who wish to register their interest in the scheme should contact their trade or member association or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
It will be free to register work placements on the site and employers will not have to pay for the pre-employment course. All training materials needed for the placement will be available free-of-charge through the The Hospitality Guild's website, which goes live in March 2013.