The scheme will grant jobseekers access to a new Government-backed employment programme designed to fill vacancies in the hospitality sector, offering benefit claimants the chance to upskill and complete qualifications in accredited training in areas across the industry.
Price said: “It sounds like a noble aim and anything we can do to attract people to the hospitality industry is obviously good.
“But clearly you want the right people. Hospitality is the sort of industry that doesn't necessarily suit everyone.
“My initial thoughts with this would be that the suitability of candidates is important.
“With staff shortages in hospitality, any schemes like this are welcome but, as with anything, it will boil down to how well it's done and how well the selection process is done.”
Price added the fact candidates will start new jobs in the sector with some training and skills already in place would benefit to employers in the sector.
“If people come to us with a leg up and with some skills, then that is very handy because often we employ those coming to us for a first job.
“While our environment is generally well set up for dealing with people that need training and need to learn a job, if they've already been given some training and skills, then all the better.
“The industry's crying out for more people starting roles with some skills rather than everything being new”, he continued.
Recognised as a “hospitality skills passport”, the Hospitality Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP), launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will see a pilot scheme introduced in Liverpool before being rolled out across other cities in the UK.
The programme, which industry leaders including Greene King have already signed up for, will culminate in help with CV’s and a guaranteed job interview for all participants, helping jobseekers to apply their new skills and a pathway to apprenticeships while addressing labour shortages.
According to the DWP, the hospitality sector currently has more than 120,000 vacancies.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality is a fantastic sector that offers a diverse variety of career opportunities, which is why it’s so well suited to helping people back into work.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Government to help run this exciting programme, which we hope can be a real positive for both jobseekers and businesses.”