75% of jobseekers who attended New Forest hospitality careers fair in line for roles
MORE than 100 local jobseekers attended a careers fair launched to plug urgent vacancies in the New Forest’s hospitality industry.
Organiser Go New Forest, the local tourism group, has revealed that since the event 75% of those who attended have either been employed already or are negotiating terms.
As reported in the A&T, the Forest’s holiday parks, hotels and restaurants were facing a 20% workforce shortfall, with warnings many firms currently recovering post-lockdown could go out of business if numbers did not improve.
Around 20 businesses showcased their job vacancies at Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst on 23rd June in an effort to recruit.
The hotel’s general manager, Michael Clitheroe, said: “It was quite refreshing to see how many parents came along with teenagers seeking long-term careers in our wonderful industry.
“Tourism is perhaps the only sector left where you can join at entry level and rise to become chairman of the organisation.”
Along with the hotels, pubs and holiday parks presenting their vacancies was local food producer Catch, New Forest Activities and Brockenhurst College.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, also tweeted a message of support for the event, and Visit England is looking to replicate the concept elsewhere, said Go New Forest CEO Anthony Climpson.
Mr Climpson added: “Every business reported a strong uptake in vacancy and career enquiries with most coming from either young people seeking to start a career in tourism and hospitality or those already in the industry looking for advancement and personal development.
“The other big plus for us as organisers is we now have a network of local colleges and schools who, along with our own member businesses, can better incentivise and motivate a greater uptake of career choices from local people.”
Mr Climpson said the next step involved creating a New Forest tourism recruitment strategy, with a second jobs fair planned for next spring.