The strategy aims to boost recruitment in the hospitality industry, attract job seekers and extend pavement licenses for al fresco dining
As the hospitality sector prepares to reopen on 19 July, thousands of businesses are preparing to open their doors to the public once again. Some businesses, such as nightclubs, will reopen for the first time since March last year. Now, Business Minister Paul Scully has announced a new Hospitality Strategy to help pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs bounce back after the pandemic.
The new ‘Hospitality Strategy’ will support the ‘recovery, reopening and resilience’ of England’s pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues. The strategy aims to create opportunities for job seekers and with the help of dedicated work coaches to address current recruitment challenges in the hospitality sector.
Pavement licenses are being extended to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer al fresco dining and serve customers outside. Pubs will be given a 12-month extension to temporary off-licences also granted during the pandemic, which allows them to sell takeaway pints and meals.
This comes in addition to the government’s £352 billion package of economic support and guidance as the hospitality sector prepares for its grand opening on 19 July. The British Business Bank and private lenders will continue to support the hospitality sector, providing access to financial support so these businesses can thrive once more.
The government also aims to create a ‘greener’ hospitality industry by reducing carbon emissions, as well providing skills training to support the next generation of businesses. This includes exploring apprenticeships, boot camps and other qualifications like a T-Level, and working with the sector to raise the profile of careers in hospitality. The strategy will also support innovation and productivity by using the Government’s Help to Grow programmes to strengthen the sector’s digital and management skills, as well as bringing hospitality businesses together with universities and other innovators to support the next generation of hospitality start-ups. And lastly, helping the sector reduce emissions, including by cutting waste and single-use plastic consumption.
At the same time, the government is launching a £150 million fund to help communities save local pubs at risk of closure. Neighbourhoods will be able to club together to raise funds to save their pub, with the government matching their investment up to a maximum of £250,000.
The pandemic has meant we’ve had to stay apart, and this has had a big impact on the hospitality industry, which exists to bring people together, Business Minister Paul Scully said. We’ve been working with hospitality businesses throughout the pandemic to understand what support they need to not only reopen but change and improve how they do things to meet changing consumer demands and protect jobs and livelihoods. We want young people to see the hospitality sector as a go-to option for long-term careers, and that’s why we will explore new options for vocational training and help further boost the creativity and environmental friendliness of the sector through the first-ever Government strategy for the hospitality industry.
I think the last 16 months has shown us many things, underlining the importance of our people and our teams and the key role hospitality has to play in lighting up our high streets and city centres, Entrepreneur and Hospitality Sector Council co-Chair Karen Jones said. We need to capitalise on the energy, creativity and innovation that will be released post-pandemic to continue our creation of a world-class hospitality sector: this Strategy will aid in making that a reality. I am honoured to be co-Chair alongside Minister Scully and will work with a will with hospitality and Government colleagues to put in place all our wonderful industry needs to flourish.
Hospitality is absolutely fundamental to the country’s economic and social wellbeing, so this new strategy which recognises our unique role is very welcome, UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said. It provides our sector with a strong platform to deliver the supportive regulatory and trading environment we need to recover, rebuild resilience and thrive. We look forward to working closely with the minister and as part of the sector council to deliver an action plan that enables our nation’s hospitality venues to bounce back from the devastation caused by the pandemic and return to creating jobs and careers ‘ supporting Government’s agenda on levelling up.