People 1st has partnered with some of the biggest names in hospitality including AccorHotels; Hilton Worldwide; Mitchells & Butlers, Whitbread and Rocco Forte Hotels to help boost career opportunities for low-paid workers in the hospitality industry.
With a labour turnover rate costing the sector £274m annually* the charity has helped secure funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) for two UK-wide projects focused on demonstrating career progression opportunities and helping businesses better engage and retain their staff.
Together People 1st, AccorHotels, Hilton Worldwide, Mitchells & Butlers and Whitbread plan to develop and test a benchmarking model, that they hope hospitality employers can use to increase staff retention and help transform career progression for the right candidates.
Simon Tarr, managing director of People 1st, said: “Currently 870,000 of the 993,000 people required by 2022 are to replace existing staff*.
"The hospitality industry needs to attract and retain staff with the potential to progress – something which, at the moment, is just not happening. As much as the retention and skills deficit needs practical, workable solutions, it also requires partnership, which is why we’re delighted to be working with some leading lights to help affect change.”
Allied to this, the world-renowned Rocco Forte Hotels has secured funding to advance a ground-breaking new smartphone app, Map My Future, for which People 1st will supply the ‘career map’ functionality.
The app can chart all the possible vocational paths beyond an employee’s current role, as well as the requisite training needed for progression. Users can also set career goals, access relevant training content and receive job advice from career coaches 24 hours a day. Crucially, learning time is flexible meaning that employees are not constrained by the time limits of their current role.
Set up in 2014 by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the UK Futures Programme encourages investment in UK skills and workforce development, inviting firms to create and pitch innovative projects that will benefit employees, in return for funding.
People 1st will be working collaboratively with AccorHotels; Hilton Worldwide; Mitchells & Butlers and Whitbread for the next 18 months to manage the development of the benchmarking model, while the ‘Map My Future’ smartphone app will be available as a white label product to wider hospitality employers.