Since the pandemic Liverpool city region’s hospitality sector has struggled to fill vacancies and now it’s pinning hopes on a Eurovision-themed recruitment fair to attract jobseekers. Tony McDonough reports
With one recruitment website currently listing 1,000 available hospitality and leisure jobs in Liverpool city region, a recruitment fair in a few weeks will help employers to fill vacancies.
Taking place at the waterfront ACC Liverpool on March 1, the fair has been organised by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the Department for Work and Pensions, Liverpool City Council and Growth Platform.
During the COVID shutdowns and restrictions many people drifted away from the hospitality and leisure sector. Post-COVID bars, restaurants, hotels and other venues have struggled to recruit enough staff.
In 2022, restaurateur Candice Fonseca, founder of Delifonseca Dockside urged young people to consider careers in the hospitality sector. In a special report, LBN revealed that bars and clubs were facing a chronic shortage of security staff.
Last year Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram unveiled a £4.5m, two-year strategy with a raft of interventions and longer-term measures to help the industry return to full health.
In October 2022, Be More – a new, all-in-one training and careers portal, complete with an AI-powered app – was launched to connect residents with employment and opportunities.
The Be More site currently has more than 2,500 vacancies listed while the website Adzuna lists around 1,000 positions across the city region in retail, hospitality and travel and tourism.
Eurovision, taking place in May, is expected to attract 100,000 visitors to the city making the need to fill vacancies more urgent.
At the ACC Liverpool recruitment fair around 45 employers will highlight a wide range of jobs. These include security workers, receptionists, porters, chefs, food and beverage roles, baristas, housekeepers and supervisors.
Interviews for temporary and permanent roles paying up to £30,000-a-year will be held at the fair and job offers made on the day to suitable applicants.
It will take place between 11am and 4pm and is the first in a series of career roadshows across the city region. There will also be mini recruitment events and a campaign to raise awareness of the hospitality and tourism economy in schools.
Mini recruitment fairs are planned in Halton, Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. Job seekers will also be able to sign up for training courses to improve their chances of finding work in the sector.
Janet Nuzum, visitor economy sector manager at Growth Platform, said: “Undoubtably the Eurovision Song Contest is an exciting opportunity for the Liverpool city region visitor economy sector.
“Not only will people across the globe be watching this iconic event but we expect 100,000 extra visitors staying and enjoying our fantastic region.
“What this event gives us is an opportunity to highlight the significant role that hospitality plays in making sure visitors have an exceptional time when they are here.
“That is why we, alongside our partners, are hosting this recruitment fair – we want people to be a part of this vibrant sector and help our businesses fill their vacancies and find the talent they need.”
Employers who want to take part in the fair can click here. Jobseekers looking to register their interests can email Merseyside.firstname.lastname@example.org and employers interested in registering their interest in supported internships can email email@example.com