Creating a consortium of hospitality sector leaders, Burger & Lobster has laid plans to develop Hospitalityforall.co.uk with the aim of speeding up the recruitment process for refugees seeking work.
Hospitality businesses that have already signed up include Wahaca, Franco Manca, The Cinnamon Collection, Pizza Pilgrims, Sumi and Miguel’s Pizza.
Burger & Lobster’s sister brands Goodman, Zelman Meats, Neyba and Beast Restaurant are also involved.
Hospitality For All will take the form of an applicant-first hospitality-focused recruitment website where brands can post available jobs for refugees.
The straight-forward process enables those looking for employment to submit one simple application form for a variety of industry vacancies rather than having to apply to multiple restaurants.
Applications will be shared across the consortium’s recruitment teams, thus facilitating jobs in the fastest way possible and giving the applicant a higher chance of success.
“Our industry has always welcomed people from different nationalities, skill sets and backgrounds, and this is another example of our sector doing what it does best,” says Burger & Lobster head of people Alex Sheekey.
“We wanted to open our doors to help those in crisis, but recognise that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We’re a powerful sector when we come together, and we thank those operators who have signed-up and welcome future partners to join us in this cause.”
The platform is currently in development stages with CAB Studios and will launch mid-April. Hospitality businesses looking to sign up should head here.
'Careers for Ukraine' project
Burger & Lobster is not the only business launching an initiative to help Ukrainians coming to the UK find employment. It follows the announcement of the Government's Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme last week, whereby individuals, charities, community groups and businesses can sponsor refugees looking to come to Britain.
Plant-based restaurant Mildreds, which has six sites across London, has launched its 'Careers for Ukraine' project, offering jobs across its estate as well as providing travel to the UK from abroad (up to £250 towards the cost); up to £300 to help settle into the UK (finding accommodation, travel); free on-shift staff meals; and flexible working schedules.
"The Mildreds team have been doing their best to connect with people in Ukraine and Poland where the refugee situation is deteriorating," says Sam Anstey, managing director at Mildreds.
"Following on from the announcement of the Government’s “Homes for Ukraine” scheme, we will be launching our own careers for Ukraine project.
"We have vacancies at all levels and training programs available for applicants and are able to move quickly to support those needing help where we can."
Meanwhile, Pret A Manger has launched a scheme that will support an initial 50 Ukrainian refugees to work in its stores. These will be in a variety of in-shop roles, including chefs and baristas.
Pret said the programme would help fast-track Ukrainians who want to come to the UK and are seeking work.
It will also offer emotional and financial support, such as one-to-one counselling, English tuition, vouchers to cover household items and assistance with housing.
This follows a long heritage of the Pret Foundation taking on refugees, working with the likes of Cardinal Hume Centre. Over the last decade, Pret has employed refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Iran and Yemen.