Brewdog and The Ivy Collection Partner with HospitalityUnite to Champion the Kickstart Scheme

BrewDog and The Ivy Collection support Kickstart Scheme

A new website connecting hospitality operators with young people eligible for the government’s Kickstart scheme has been launched by HospitalityUnite.

The website will provide a free online service to connect hospitality businesses with 16- to 24-year-olds wanting to start a career in the restaurant, pub, hotel, bar and wider leisure sector, to benefit from the government funded scheme.

The new initiative by Harri, which launched not-for-profit jobs portal HospitalityUnite in March, has announced it is turning its attention to the government’s Kickstart scheme to help place young people in hospitality roles.

The project already has the backing of UKHospitality and charity Springboard, as well as several hospitality groups including Brewdog and the Ivy Collection. With the Job Retention Scheme ending completely on 31 October, the HospitalityUnite team anticipates more than 200 businesses will sign up. 

The original HospitalityUnite non-for-profit platform was set up in March by the team at Harri, the online people management platform. Operating companies taking part will receive exclusive access to these approved candidates and free use of the hiring platform to post jobs, screen candidates, conduct video interviewing and send offer letters. Free employability training will also be available.

Harri director Pete Willis said that “the need for homegrown talent in hospitality will be vital through the course of 2021” particularly with the imminent “Brexit barriers to entry”, which come into effect from 1 January.

He said: “We welcome all operators throughout hospitality and tourism to join the HospitalityUnite Kickstart initiative, which, in partnership with the Youth Group, will seamlessly process your government application on your behalf again at no charge.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, which is supporting the initiative, said HospitalityUnite’s involvement was “a really positive way” of promoting the government’s Kickstart programme.

She added: “We know from experience that hospitality benefits hugely from the enthusiasm, talents and innovation of young people in its workforce.

“As hospitality embarks on a journey of recovery after the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, those attributes will be more valuable than ever, and the portal will be a great access point for people looking to break into exciting hospitality careers.”

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance commented: “This is another great initiative from the team at Harri which the Scottish Tourism Alliance is delighted to support, alongside our colleagues at UKHospitality”.

He added “As we move into the remaining weeks of furlough which so many within our industry have relied upon, and beyond, HospitalityUnite will without doubt be seen as a much needed and very welcome ‘go to’ for both our members and all of those seeking out opportunities in our tourism and hospitality sector. It’s hugely reassuring to see such a strong commitment from so many high profile organisations and I very much hope that many will follow suit to support the sector and employment opportunities for our young people.”

Jack Parsons, CEO of The Youth Group and the UK’s Chief Youth Officer, commented: “A Government initiative like the Kickstart scheme excites me because it will really support our youth.

“I’m extremely thrilled to be part of HospitalityUnite to help the hospitality industry engage and develop young people. It’s so important that we change the narrative when it comes to hospitality jobs because like any industry there are some real success stories in growing a career in hospitality. Harri and the wider community supporting this initiative know the industry very well and it’s great to join forces”

Jack is partnering with the team at Harri to ensure that businesses can apply for a grant and recruit qualified young talent for the scheme.

James Brown, Managing Director of BrewDog Retail, which is also supporting the scheme, added: “BrewDog are delighted to support the HospitalityUnite initiative who are helping both job seekers and supporting businesses looking utilise the government’s Kickstart collective scheme.  The hospitality industry has been hit hard with the Covid crisis and we are both proud to support HospitalityUnite and champion its cause to our friends and peers within our sector.” 

Baton Berisha, Managing Director for Caprice Holdings, The Ivy Collection and Bill’s Restaurant & Bar, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Government’s Kickstart initiative across Caprice Holdings, The Ivy Collection and Bill’s Restaurant & Bar. We’ll be working with Hospitality Unite to help support and onboard new employees, giving 16-24 year olds the skills, tools and experience required for them to build a successful career in the world of hospitality.”

The government’s £2b Kickstart grants launched earlier this month to fund businesses for six months of 25 hours a week work at national minimum wage for 16- to -24 year-olds, giving them a ‘kickstart’ into their working lives.

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