Hospitality is crucial to the health of the UK economy, providing much-needed growth, investment and jobs in every single region of the UK. It is the UK’s 3rd largest private sector employer, contributing a significant £130bn to HM Treasury. There are few industries that can match the fantastic career and training prospects offered by the hospitality industry to workplace entrants of all skill levels, however it’s not just the sector’s employees but also consumers more broadly that benefit from its success. Hospitality is part of every community across the country, providing food, drink, comfort and enjoyment on both special occasions and in everyday life. Without hospitality, visitors to our astonishingly diverse land would not have the experiences that keep the UK consistently ranked as one of the best global tourist destinations. And yet, it is still overlooked and often perceived as a low paid and low skilled industry. This is far from the reality of our highly skilled and talented sector, and perceptions must change.
This General Election is an opportunity to influence future policymakers and ensure they see hospitality for what it is - a dynamic, vibrant and innovative industry and an economic powerhouse.
We have published our Menu for Change – a vision for the hospitality industry’s future, outlining the operating environment that would unleash the true potential of our industry. This sets out opportunities for the incoming Government to support and work collaboratively with a sector that directly employs 3.2 million people across the UK. The first step to achieving this, and to showcase our industry’s potential, is to engage with parliamentary candidates as soon as possible and help build support for hospitality with this country’s future policymakers. Since UKHospitality launched the Menu for Change, we have enjoyed fantastic engagement with candidates from the main parties who have shown real enthusiasm for our industry.
This is a great start, but we can do more – every effort invested now can pay great dividends in the new Parliament, so it is crucial that we use this time to impress on them the importance and value of the sector in their local communities, that can help grow the local and national economy, and support UK jobs and investment. This is likely to be the most significant election for hospitality in generations, and we have a real opportunity to push for policy changes that will help our sector thrive.
Parliamentary candidates are always keen to speak to the businesses in their constituency, so let’s not waste this opportunity. We have produced a number of assets to help businesses invite local candidates to visit their business to start, or cement, crucial relations with the next Parliament’s MPs and with their future local representatives.
To access the member toolkit, or for more information and support on how to contact your local parliamentary candidate, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.