Mark McCulloch

Multiple industry bodies have united around Hospitality Rising, a £5 million campaign to tackle the sector’s job crisis.

The campaign, launched by former Pret A Manger marketer Mark McCulloch, is encouraging employers across the industry to invest in the campaign by pledging £10 per employee.  

The Hospitality & Tourism Sector Skills Board (HTSB) has given Hospitality Rising its official backing to be the strategic face of the industry’s biggest ever recruitment drive, with support also coming from UKHospitality, the BII, the British Beer and Pub Association, and a host of leading employers.

“To be approved as the industry’s official campaign and response to the recruitment crisis is amazing,” said McCulloch.

“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 and make hospitality a positive career choice for the very many, not the few.”

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The campaign comes on the heels of recently-released UKHospitality figures that reveal 400,000 vacancies across the hospitality sector and a further 100,000 staff absences, meaning that day-to-day the industry is missing half a million workers; more than 20% of the workforce.

“The campaign cannot come soon enough,” said Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKHospitality.

“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 secured £350,000 in pre-launch seed funding and will now raise the £5 million to launch the campaign.