Industry unites around £5m Hospitality Rising campaign as sector vacancies hit 400,000: Organisers of a national grass-roots campaign aiming to raise £5m to combat the sector’s crippling jobs crisis have secured further industry backing and made a call to action. Hospitality Rising, a project led by ex-Pret a Manger and YO! marketer Mark McCulloch to reignite and rescue the hospitality talent crisis, was launched in November with a £5m fundraising goal. With sector vacancies now reaching the 400,000-mark, Hospitality Rising has become the strategic face of the industry’s biggest ever recruitment campaign. It will work with both the government and Hospitality & Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB) on a newly created Hospitality Sector Council. The endorsement means Hospitality Rising has won the backing of representatives of the whole spectrum of hospitality businesses, including UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer & Pub Association. This follows endorsements from companies including Pret A Manger, Athenaeum, Buzzworks, Hawksmoor, Hilton, The Pig Hotel & Limewood Group, Punch Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Wahaca and Welcome Break. McCulloch will now move to the role of campaign director, sounding the starting gun on “a concerted industry-wide fundraising effort”, with employers across the sector being urged to pledge £10 per employee. 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.” Hospitality Rising has already secured more than £350,000 in pre-launch seed funding. Also on board are agencies VCCP, Oglivy and Forever Beta, while PR consultancies The Fourth Angel and Tigerbond are offering their time and talent.


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