Published date 16 March 2022

New jobs site launched for the West

James King and Dan Norris stood behind the bar in The Salamander pub

West of England jobseekers can find out about the numerous rewarding opportunities across the region’s hospitality sector thanks to a new website launched by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Jobs Connect” was commissioned by the West of England Combined Authority, led by the Metro Mayor, and built by Bath-based software company Cognisess. It will connect local people to jobs with top hospitality and tourism employers in the region.

People looking to find jobs can create and upload a digital CV that will be shared with recruiters. Job seekers can search and apply for positions and test their skills through online games. Businesses can use the platform to list their current vacancies.

Officially launching “Jobs Connect” at The Salamander, the Metro Mayor highlighted just how many job opportunities there are at the region’s pubs, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris met Salamander’s Director James King who said it has been tough to fill vacancies at his pub since the pandemic and Brexit.

Latest ONS figures show an incredible 675% rise in hospitality vacancies on last year.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Jobs Connect is a bit like a dating agency for jobs. Job seekers and businesses upload their profiles and the website plays matchmaker. Individuals can do personality tests to figure out their compatibility, and there are top tips to make sure you put your best side forward and stand out from the crowd.

“By launching Jobs Connect, I hope to make it easier for people to access the varied roles that this vibrant industry offers. I also want to change perceptions. Hospitality doesn’t mean a temporary solution of waiting tables to see you through; it can be a varied, high-skilled, career for life.

“We have some amazing tourist attractions and brilliant places to eat out in the West of England. By developing Jobs Connect, we are matching up more people with the many restaurants, pubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and attractions across the West of England, ensuring we thrive in the future.”

Speaking about the visit, Salamander Director James King said: “As a hospitality careerist, from bartender to chef to management to business owner, I have felt the struggles of recruitment within the industry from all angles. This is especially the case after Brexit and a pandemic, with so many staff heading home to Europe.

“The impact on hospitality front-line workers, having to push harder to cover the staff shortfall and the difficulties for management and owners to fill those gaps, has been great.

“Jobs Connect aims to bring together the right staff for the right businesses with the addition that staff can test their skillset, helping point them towards jobs best suited to them.

“I think the work the West of England Combined Authority have put into this project can have a strong impact on the culture of hospitality recruitment and the overall perception of a career in this incredibly rewarding industry”.

The launch of Jobs Connect will be supported by a West of England Combined Authority campaign in partnership with Visit West celebrating people who have developed a career in hospitality in the region. The Metro Mayor hopes this will promote the breadth of exciting opportunities that the industry has to offer people. Visit jobsconnectwest.co.uk to find out more.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said: “We welcome the support of the West of England Combined Authority and Metro Mayor, Dan Norris, with this latest initiative to help tackle the current recruitment crisis in hospitality, which is slowing the recovery of a sector vital to the wider UK economic health and growth.

“Alongside more national initiatives, such as CareerScope - our joint initiative with sector charity Springboard and others - Jobs Connect will be a key element in the drive to boost recruitment and to highlight hospitality as an industry that provides interesting, exciting and rewarding long-term careers".

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