A NEW Jobcentre scheme is helping York’s hospitality industry to tackle serious staff shortages in the wake of the pandemic.

The Press has revealed previously on several occasions how hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars in York are all struggling to find enough staff to fill a range of key roles since the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

But now a project called SWAP -Sector Work Academy Programme - has helped the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel near Monk Bar find seven new employees - and helped seven people find the work they wanted.

Candidates took part in a three day training programme at the hotel this summer, giving them a chance to find out what a career in hospitality would be like, with a guaranteed job interview at the end of it.

They shadowed the hotel team in housekeeping, food and beverage and kitchen roles, and received training in tasks such as recognising and dealing with customer queries, requests and problems, making conversation and building rapport.

General manager Martin Bradnam said the scheme had been a real success.

He said: “I was really impressed with the quality of the candidates and the behind the scenes work DWP had put into this process.

"We were able to recruit seven out of eight candidates.

“The candidates were able to positively experience the hotel in many ways that was engaging and interesting, and will hopefully form a strong basis for a positive working relationship.

"I would not hesitate to work with a SWAP process again.”

Wendy Mangan is the employer and partnership manager for York.

She said the SWAP programme was creating exciting opportunities for customers to embark upon careers in hospitality, and was now being taken up by other hotels in the city.