Top chefs and restaurateurs to inspire young job seekers at Big Hospitality Conversation

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Boris Johnson will again support the BHA's Big Hospitality Conversation event
Boris Johnson will again support the BHA's Big Hospitality Conversation event

Related tags: Big hospitality conversation, Boris johnson, Bha

Chefs Mark Sargeant, Phil Howard, Gary Lee and Adam Byatt are among those attending the British Hospitality Association's (BHA) Big Hospitality Conversation in London today (Monday) where they will aim to inspire young job seekers to take up a career in hospitality.

The event at London's City Hall is also being supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson and will see more than 200 members of the industry from companies such as D&D London, Gaucho Restaurants, Wagamama, Benugo, Whitbread, Compass Group and Baxterstorey join 500 job seekers. 

It will include talks from chefs, panel debates on work experience and apprenticeships and a careers fair where members of the BHA will have jobs on offer. 

Sargeant, Byatt and Lee said they and other members of the industry had a responsibility to' invest time, knowledge and recourses' into future generations. 

Lee, executive chef at The Ivy, said: “I have long championed young people coming into the hospitality industry and have taken on apprentices, been into schools to give motivational talks and spoken to them at cooking demos.  They are our future and must be nurtured and encouraged.  At The Ivy, and our sister restaurants in Caprice Holdings, we run an apprentice scheme, which has proved very successful."

Industry growth

According to figures from the BHA, the industry will need to create another 60,000 jobs by 2020 to sustain its growth, so the organisation hopes the initiative, which it runs with Springboard, Believe in Young People, Business in the Community, People 1st and the DWP, will help 

BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “Hospitality is a successful industry with even greater growth prospects offering a vast range of career opportunities. The breadth of roles and the training available means that bright and focused young people can succeed very quickly.

"We welcome young people to come along to the event to hear from insiders about how they started out in their careers. At the City Hall event businesses will be offering on the spot career opportunities including apprenticeships and quality work experiences, so a young job seeker could start the day unemployed and leave with a job. Where, in any other industry, would that happen?”

The BHA said it was hoping to beat last year’s Big Hospitality Conversation event in London which attracted over 100 hospitality business and 500 job seekers and resulted in hundreds of job offers.

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