A combination of issues have made life tougher for the UK’s hospitality and leisure sectors, particularly in Knightsbridge and Westminster. With a million pound budget and a team of recruitment and training specialists, Westminster Works, overseen by the Knightsbridge Partnership is here to help you find the staff you need, particularly in Knightsbridge.
Knightsbridge, the West End and the entertainment centres around Leicester Square and Soho attract visitors from the UK and internationally.
With over 3,000 businesses in hospitality and over 4,400 in leisure, there is a greater concentration in the city of Westminster than anywhere else in the UK.
The remarkable diversity of hotels, cafés, restaurants, bars and entertainment businesses both big and small are a key part of the appeal of London for residents and international visitors.
The Westminster Works project will work with employers to understand their needs for skills, including seasonal requirements and then identify potential sources of employees, understand their requirements, their motivators and any barriers. The focus will then be on ensuring that we effectively match job seekers to employers to create long term, sustainable relationships.
This consortium brings together the Knightsbridge Partnership, the New West Company, the Business Improvement Districts in London’s two International Centres. It is supported by the Westminster Property Association and the University of Westminster. The service is funded by a £1million grant from Westminster City Council.
It will be delivered by Step Ahead and AttisTowns and will focus on being business led, outcome orientated, innovative, deliverable, inclusive and efficient.
The programme kicked off in March 2022, and has initially focussed on engaging with employers and employees in the hospitality and leisure businesses. This will help us to understand more fully the issues that motivate people to work in these sectors and to identify practical ways of lowering some of the barriers that prevent some of them from doing so.
Informed by findings from the first phase, the consortium will launch the scheme fully in October.
What is Westminster Works?
Westminster Works is a Westminster City Council initiative. The service aims to engage at least 400 Westminster business and fill more than 2,200 vacancies by March 31st 2024.
The process of creating the service involved engagement with over 100 Westminster business, BIDs and other interested bodies over an intensive three month period to create a service that was deliverable, practical and welcomed by business. This programme included the formation of a BIDs Advisory Council; a Business Advisory Council; three Expert Working Groups; opinion polling; insights into the state of the national and local sectors; and insights into the potential of various non-participating groups.
The core business support programme is funded by a £1 million Additional Restrictions Grant, awarded by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy to support businesses most hit by COVID-19 lockdowns.
Training will be delivered in partnership with Westminster Kingsway College and Westminster Adult Education Service. The training element of the programme is funded by £2 million from the Mayor’s Adult Education Budget and the Apprenticeship Levy.
The service has been designed to maximise the attractiveness of working in Westminster’s hospitality and leisure sectors and actively encourage new entrants to the employment pool. With many sectors in the UK facing staff shortages, it is impossible to guarantee success but we believe that Westminster Works provides the best possible sector-wide response to the current challenges.
How do businesses register?
Westminster Works website, www.westminster.works, allows businesses to register as Westminster Works Employers and allows job seekers to register to become Westminster Works Employees. Over time the website will build-up a showcase of Host of Westminster businesses with photographs and quotes from employers and employees to engage and excite potential employees. The website will link job seekers seamlessly to the state-of-the-art recruitment software managed by the programme’s recruitment agency, Step Ahead.