Newcastle business leaders including restaurants, hotels and caterers from across the North East will come together today at St James Park Newcastle to pledge job opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements for young jobseekers at The Big Hospitality Conversation.

The hospitality and tourism industry in the North East supports over 10% of the region’s work force and contributes £1billion to the regional economy. A Newcastle Government report cites tourism as a key priority for the city over the coming years.

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association, said: “Newcastle and the North East is a popular and vibrant visitor destination offering cultural diversity and a buzzing restaurant and bar scene.

“For young people in the region starting out in their careers, hospitality and tourism is an attractive prospect, offering the chance to get involved in a dynamic, growing and competitive industry with great prospects for growth. The breadth of job roles and the training available means that new entrants can succeed very quickly, climbing the career ladder towards even greater opportunities in the industry.”

The Big Hospitality Conversation, a nationwide campaign led by the BHA united more than 1,500 business to provide hospitality and tourism careers. Over 40,000 career opportunities have so far been created at events like the one at St James Park and the BHA’s aim is to create up to 60,000 jobs for young people by 2016.

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