Hospitality and restaurant businesses from the Heathrow area have together pledged 1,066 new job opportunities for young people by 2015.

The pledges were made at the British Hospitality Association’s (BHA) Big Hospitality Conversation held at The Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow.

The job opportunities pledged include 316 jobs, 325 apprenticeships and 425 paid work experience opportunities which will help to reduce youth unemployment amongst 16 to 24 year-olds in the area. Businesses that made the pledges included Arora Hotels, Millenium & Copthorne Hotels, Premier Inn, Marriott and Bartlett Mitchell.

Ufi Ibrahim, BHA chief executive, said: “We are delighted with the 1,066 pledges for the Heathrow area. This demonstrates local businesses working collaboratively to offer new opportunities for young people and this is a fantastic boost to tackling youth unemployment figures in the local community. 

“Research shows that the hospitality industry has the potential to generate over 200,000 jobs by 2015 which is half of the government’s Youth Contract target for the next three years. The pledges received at the Heathrow Big Hospitality Conversation are a positive step.”

Simon Robertson, area business manager for Barclays, which has partnered with the BHA to support the industry body’s goal of creating 60,000 new jobs in the sector by 2015, said: “Our own apprenticeship scheme has been a real success and it is great to work with the BHA to encourage more young people to take the opportunity to build a fantastic career.”

Anne Pierce, Springboard chief executive, said: “Pledges like those generated in Heathrow are leaving a legacy for job creation and growth for the UK hospitality industry. The Big Hospitality Conversation is a great way to bring together industry leaders and young people to create a meaningful dialogue resulting in many unemployed and disadvantaged young people gaining vital work experience, apprenticeship and employment opportunities.”