SUCH is the diversity of jobs available in today’s hospitality sector that the range of skills employers are looking for range from motivation and flexibility through to communication skills and the ability to work under pressure. A far cry from the traditional appeal to simply be a "people person".
Our local communities boast a large group of people who have such skills, plus a drive to show what they can do, and with a high turnover of staff within this area, a new government initiative is helping them find long-term work.
Local people who have been unemployed for a few months are now being given the chance to work for a prospective employer for free, whilst continuing to receive benefits. Parents who have not worked while their children are young, those who have recovered from illness, and the longer-term unemployed are all benefiting from Work Trials right across the region.
Jan Thirlaway, customer services director for Jobcentre Plus in the North East said: “A lot of our customers have skills that are transferable into jobs in the hospitality sector. Parents, for instance, who have brought up children alone often on a tight budget, frequently come with great organisational skills and an intense willingness to get back into the workplace.”
But work trials aren’t the only way Jobcentre Plus is helping employers in the North East. Employer Direct and Employer Direct Online are services that allow employers to create and update their vacancies free of charge. While Apply Direct allows an individual to see job details and contact an employer directly without the need to be seen by Jobcentre Plus staff.
As this sector expands to include casino work, bar staff, catering, event management, tourism workers and others, Jobcentre Plus is developing its relationships with key industry bodies nationally, as well as with employers locally.
Jan is determined the organisation does all it can to promote the opportunities in this sector.
She said: “Jobcentre Plus is currently working closely with very many employers across the hospitality and tourism fields. Recently in the North East, we have met with these employers, listened to the skills they need from their workforce and then arranged tailored training courses for unemployed people to acquire those skills.
“As we’ve done this in consultation with employers and because we know the talent is out there in our communities, we’ve been able to supply employers with excellent candidates, many of whom are now working permanently in this sector.”