Westminster Works scheme launched to tackle hospitality staffing shortage in the capital

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Westminster Works scheme launched to tackle hospitality staffing shortage in the capital

Related tags ukhospitality Kate nicholls Staff Recruitment

A new multi-million pound scheme that promises rapid recruitment in the hospitality sector by scrapping the need for CVs has been launched in Westminster.

The Westminster Works scheme has been devised and developed by more than 100 hospitality and leisure industry leaders with the aim of filling a minimum of 2,200 vacancies at hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs, casinos and other eligible venues across Westminster by March 2024.

Backed by Mayor of London, the free scheme is open to all hospitality and leisure businesses in Westminster and advocates on the job trials and accelerated training, with the intention of the initiative becoming a blueprint for hospitality hubs across the UK.

Participating employers will be asked to sign a Westminster Works pledge that makes clear commitments to prospective employees straddling three pillars: respect, reward, and progression. Among the commitments, employers will be required to guarantee that they will pay at least the London Living Wage and pledge to champion diversity and inclusion; offer more flexible hours and a better work-life balance; and provide additional benefits and support for career progression among other things.

In addition to promoting vacancies for all Westminster Works businesses in Westminster and beyond at no cost, the service will focus on attracting those not currently in the employment pool, such as early retirees, parents, carers, people with learning difficulties and ex-offenders.

“This timely scheme will help employers overcome staff shortages, find thousands of job opportunities, while at the same time setting the high standard for workers’ rights. It’s good for business, good for workers, and good for Westminster,” says Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Westminster is home to 3,700 restaurants, bars and cafes and a further 4,000 leisure businesses supporting 120,000 jobs in the city.

“The number of job vacancies in the hospitality sector has reached record highs and this scheme could not come soon enough for those dedicated and hard-working businesses that have been poleaxed by Covid, both during the restrictions caused by the pandemic and the after-effects as they try to recover,” says Kate Nichols, CEO of UKHospitality.

“Workers will be afforded better working and employment conditions under this scheme, which is increasingly important in the current cost of living crisis.”

The Westminster Works scheme is created in partnership by Step Ahead, New West End Company, Knightsbridge Partnership, Step Ahead Recruitment Agency and AttisTowns and funded by Westminster City Council.


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