'Hospitality's biggest ever recruitment campaign' set in motion as it receives widespread backing

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

The Hospitality Rising campaign has received widespread backing from within the hospitality industry and is calling for further support to raise the requisite £5m it needs to launch a national recruitment campaign, as vacancies in hospitality reach the 400,000 mark.

Now campaign director Mark McCulloch, a former marketer for YO! and Pret a Manger launched the initiative in November, and has now received backing from UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer & Pub Association, in addition to Pret A Manger, Athenaeum, Buzzworks, Hawksmoor, Hilton, The Pig Hotel & Limewood Group, Punch Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Wahaca and Welcome Break. 

The group will work with both the government and Hospitality & Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB) on a newly created Hospitality Sector Council, encouraging people to join the hospitality industry with what it says will be "a world-class brand and advertising campaign."

Its efforts have so far raised more than £350,000 in pre-launch seed funding. By asking backers to pledge £10 per employee, it aims to reach a £5m target allowing for a "government-sized" collaborative campaign "which captures the attention of young job seekers and encourages them to consider a job in hospitality" which it hopes will "double the hospitality talent pool."

Drawing inspiration from the British Army's recruitment drive, the campaign will utilise multiple mediums, from TV to digital, posters and PR, aiming to:

1) Make alternative options/ rival sectors such as retail and warehouse work seem like a poor choice

2) Change the perception of the industry so it becomes more appealing

3) Target those people most likely to be open to the idea of a career in hospitality in the first place

UK Hospitality is handling all invoicing and banking for the fundraiser, and will be guard the fund, it says, "to ensure the safety and prudent spend of all of your investments." As well as seeking investment from the UK government, the campaign is looking for support from investors, suppliers, corporate sponsors, media partners and recruitment agencies in hospitality.

Celebrating the backing of industry bodies in addition to existing supporters, Mark McCulloch said: “To be approved as the industry’s official campaign and response to the recruitment crisis is amazing. It means we can really accelerate what we are doing with Hospitality Rising – we can now go stratospheric.

"We see this approval as a call to action for industry colleagues to come together and get behind the campaign, not just emotionally, but importantly, financially too, as we seek to build a campaign war chest. This will allow us to drive our message out to the UK public, tell all our fabulous stories and make hospitality a positive career choice for the very many, not the few.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, added: “The campaign cannot come soon enough. Our latest research shows the issues of recruitment and skills are absolutely mission critical to the hospitality and tourism sectors. Many of our members are struggling with a significant level of vacancies.

"This campaign will enable hospitality to stage a vital intervention and turn on a generation to the rich and varied roles and career pathways that our vibrant industry offers.” 

Read the full campaign brief here

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 10th February 2022

'Hospitality's biggest ever recruitment campaign' set in motion as it receives widespread backing