The employment minister today urged hospitality employers to take advantage of the multitude of available Government schemes to stimulate the jobs market.
Speaking at the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Breakfast, hosted by sector skills council People 1st and Jobcentre Plus in London, Jim Knight said businesses must continue taking advantage of Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs), apprenticeship schemes, work trials and pre-employment training.
“We need employers to work with us to stimulate recruitment, to develop apprenticeship schemes, and by offering that first chance to really change people's lives,” he said.
Under the LEP initiative, employers pledge to give job interviews and work placements to unemployed people specially trained by JobCentre Plus.
Knight said the Government was still on track to meet its original target of creating 250,000 jobs through LEPs by April 2010 – to date 150,000 have been created.
“Clearly what we have got is working,” he said. “We are on target at the moment. In fact, I think we are slightly ahead of schedule.”
Michelle Luxford, HR director of Travelodge, who last year initiated the 'Going Forward' pre-employment training scheme with Jobcentre Plus, told delegates the project had helped recruit 57 young people and had improved retention rates at the company by 8%.
“This was a way of widening our talent pool and getting higher retention figures, and I think that's something worth going for,” she said.
Jez Langorn, head of talent and education at McDonald's, revealed that since the launch of LEPs at the fast-food chain in March this year, 300 people were either on the scheme or have been through it, and 50 people have been hired.
By Kat Baker
This first appeared on Caterersearch sister website PersonnelToday.com
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