The initiative is run by the Perceptions Group which was established earlier this year to help attract young people to the hospitality industry and recognise it as a viable career path.
The 1,500 work placements will be offered to young people who complete a pre-employment training programme which equips them with foundation level qualifications and prepares them for entry into employment via a traineeship, apprenticeship or as a stepping stone on a structured career path.
To ensure the best training provision is available, pre-employment academies and workshops are being set up with the Hospitality Guild and People 1st, the industry’s sector skills council.
The Perceptions Group said that this will offer potential candidates the opportunity to “hone their employability skills prior to their application for a two-week work placement”.
The national launch follows the industry briefing that took place in February when companies were asked to pledge placements. To date, more than 1,500 placements have been pledged and over 3,000 apprenticeships have been made available.
Lewis said: "There is much more to pubs than pulling pints. The skills needed to run a successful pub can lead people to being successful in many other parts of the industry. Work placement schemes like this can help people get the experience to go from barman to chairman and give their career a stellar start.”
“Pubs and bars are generally seen as a short-gap; part-time, pocket-money job. The reality is that they offer a diverse and interesting range of career opportunities,” added Keith Knowles, chairman of Perceptions Group.
“It is often by accident that young people stumble on a career in this industry and you only have to look around at the great retailers, big and small, within our sector such as Spirit Group, Stonegate Pub Company, Drake and Morgan, Yummy Pubs and my own business Beds and Bars to see the wealth of talent that has evolved through the training and development of our young people.”
“What we are trying to do is show young people, their careers advisors, parents and teachers that you really can go from the bar to the board in an retail industry that encompasses not only front line opportunities but all the professions that help businesses succeed.”
Watch a video of Brandon Lewis' speech at the launch. Video courtesy of BigHospitality
The following companies will offer work placements: Beds & Bars; Bramwell Pub Company; Drake & Morgan; Foundation Inns; Fullers; Intertain; Oakman Inns; Orchid Pub Company; Shepherd Neame; Stonegate Pub Company; Whiting & Hammond; Yummy Pub Company; Novus Leisure; Spirit Pub Company; Thorley Taverns; Glendola Leisure; Grand Union; Snug Bars; Best Placed Inns; Lockside Lounge; TGI Fridays; Mitchells & Butlers; Oak Taverns.