The hospitality and leisure recruitment services programme will seek to address the difficulties many businesses are facing in filling vacancies through a new recruitment drive that links hospitality firms in Westminster to local jobseekers, colleges and training centres.
Westminster is home to 3,700 restaurants, bars and cafes and a further 4,000 leisure businesses supporting around 120,000 jobs.
The new scheme will support a variety of businesses and roles from restaurant front of house to barista and sommelier to sous chef – encouraging people in Westminster to consider careers in hospitality.
Businesses to already take advantage of the scheme include The Londoner hotel in Leicester Square (pictured), which launched last year.
The funding forms part of a multimillion investment in the West End by the Council to try and 'future proof' Westminster for the next 20 years and revitalise the economy following the pandemic.
While Westminster is becoming busier, footfall in the West End is still up to 45% down on pre-pandemic levels and significant numbers of commuters have yet to return to the office
Other elements of the Council’s recovery plan that it hopes will benefit the hospitality sector include supporting al fresco dining in some of Westminster’s most popular areas.
“Westminster and the West End were hard hit by lockdown,” says Counsellor Rachael Robathan, Leader of Westminster City Council.
“As the local authority area with more restaurants, bars and cafes than any other in the country, we feel we have a special obligation to support the hospitality industry, which is why we have today announced our new £1m recruitment scheme.
“The venue owners work night and day to support jobs; the Council can play its part by providing trained staff for those jobs.”