Hospitality industry boosted by TV’s Hotel GB


Gordon Ramsey and Gok Wan are among the stars boosting the profile of the hospitality industry, according to south-west London hotels.


By Giles Lucas, Zac Norman and Beth Wyatt

Gordon Ramsey and Gok Wan are among the stars boosting the profile of the hospitality industry, according to south-west London hotels.

Channel 4’s programme Hotel GB, airing every day this week to raise money for employment charities, has put the spotlight on the jobless by putting people to work at a celebrity-run hotel.

A host of the broadcaster’s presenters are mentoring individuals to help them develop skills to gain employment, and London hotels have backed the initiative.

Lorraine Fare, general manager of Kingston’s Antoinette Hotel, said: “Anything that raises the profile of the world of hospitality is a positive thing.

“It puts us in the limelight with the younger market.”

Ms Fare, a self-confessed addict of Hotel GB, said her hotel has strong connections with college students but conceded it was a less desirable career choice, especially when compared to the perks of travel hospitality.

Ramsay himself has spoken highly of the value of apprenticeships and believes companies should employ them more often.

Isabel Hargreaves, sales director of Wimbledon’s Cannizaro House, said: “We offer, and have been offering, apprenticeships to local students for over five years.”

Ms Fare claims her hotel retains more staff than others due to its apprenticeship scheme, which takes on two to three people each year.

She said: “We work with a college in Holland and offer internships for overseas students.

“The value is in getting a taste for all departments.

“You get a much greater understanding of the business as a whole.”

A Wimbledon hotel worker, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “I haven’t watched it, to be honest, but I think there are too many personalities in it!”

Miles Quest, a spokesman for the British Hospitality Association, spoke to the show’s producers last summer.

He said the programme showcases the roles of hospitality staff and will encourage the unemployed to find work in the industry.

He said: “It will show what a difficult job it is.”

He added: “Gordon Ramsay and Mary Portas are demanding people.

“The customer can be a very demanding as well so it bodes well.

“The industry is always on the look out for recruits and to train young people, the show raises the profile of the industry.”

The British Hospitality Association Annual Report of 2010/11 showed hospitality to be the fifth largest industry in the UK, employing over 2.4m people.

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