Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter launches to promote sector and boost recruitment
A new hospitality charter, designed to raise the profile of the hospitality industry and promote the sector as a career of choice, has been launched by business leaders in the Peak District & Derbyshire with support from the area’s official destination management organisation.
The Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter has been created to help dispel beliefs that those working in hospitality suffer ‘long hours for little pay’ and instead highlight the benefits of being part of such a vibrant industry.
Over 30 businesses in the Peak District & Derbyshire have already pledged their support for the initiative, with businesses of all sizes across the county urged to sign up and form a collective voice for the sector.
The charter has been founded by two local hospitality leaders – Richard Palmer, Managing Director of the Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, and Neil Fischer, owner of the Fischer’s Group – to promote best practice in the industry, with pledges to offer employees opportunity, respect, quality training, a good-work life balance and the chance to grow and develop their career.
Inspired by similar industry initiatives such as the People 1st Hospitality Commitment and the 2020 Hoteliers’ Charter, the Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter forms the basis of a long-term strategy to combat the hospitality recruitment crisis whilst also paving the way for better education and training across the industry.
Signing up to the Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter means businesses will make a series of commitments to their employees, which include providing a positive work environment, supporting training and development, offering competitive salaries and safeguarding employees’ mental health and wellbeing.
Collaboration is at the heart of the initiative and the charter also aims to improve training and apprenticeship opportunities in the sector by strengthening links between hospitality businesses and education providers.
Signatories will pledge to work with local universities, colleges, schools and careers advisors to create refreshed qualification pathways that better meet the needs of the sector – whilst also lobbying Government to improve and attract more funding to support education and training across the industry.
Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, says: “The Peak District & Derbyshire Hospitality Charter aims to combat the misconceptions surrounding working in hospitality and instead promote this diverse sector as a rewarding career choice.
“By strengthening links between the hospitality industry and education providers, the charter will not only help to build better training and education pathways, but it will also help businesses to reach young adults at the point when they choose their careers, highlighting the many benefits of working within the sector.
“This is by no means a quick fix, but the launch of this charter marks the start of a long-term strategy to support the hospitality industry, to ease recruitment problems and to ensure local businesses can offer fulfilling careers now – and in the future.”
Neil Fischer, owner of the Fischer’s Group, says: “Hospitality is one of those unique sectors where you get to both learn life skills and pull upon your educational background, while continuing to develop. Whether it’s a passion for food and drink, or purely a business and marketing acumen you are looking to develop, the hospitality industry has it all.
“Notably there has been a stigma associated with the UK hospitality sector for many years. What’s frustrating is that this stems from only 20% of the industry. The other 80% of operations are viable, vibrant and successful businesses, where individuals can succeed.
“While hospitality in many respects is about delivering great experiences, this charter is about so much more; from food education in schools, so individuals grow up healthier and fitter, to delivering great opportunities to those that want to learn, whether as a stepping stone to something else or as a long-term career.”
Richard Palmer, Managing Director of Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants Group, says: “There has never been a better time to join the hospitality industry, learn new skills and to seek more fulfilment from our working lives. Roles in hospitality are an invitation to gain invaluable life skills which open up a wealth of opportunities for those who are looking to develop, whether in the hospitality industry or beyond.
“I relate to this with personal experience, having started my own career as a bar attendant at The Devonshire Brasserie, before travelling to learn from other parts of the world. By age 21, I was managing a £1m turnover business and 25 staff, and by my mid 30’s I became the Group’s MD.
“We’re working hard to challenge the perception of the industry as having long hours, low pay and limited career progression. We began with the introduction of a four-day week for chefs, partnering with local colleges and creating our in-house training program, The Devonshire Hospitality Academy. Now, working with our partners at Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire has allowed us to pull together this charter to showcase all of the great opportunities the sector offers, to give others the benefit of our experience and share our passion.”
The original version of this article was first published on Chesterfield News
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