Hospostart Programme Extended

The Restaurant Association training programme Hospostart, which prepares job seekers for a career in hospitality is set to be expanded as the partnership with the Ministry of Social Development grows.

MSD provides the funding and support for the programme, which plays a vital role in seeing job seekers equipped with entry level skills and mentoring support to gain and maintain employment in hospitality.

Hospostart is run regularly in Auckland and is now expanding to Waikato, Christchurch, Gisborne, Nelson and Northland.

It offers a three-week intensive training course and eight weeks job seeking support. The training is employer-driven and updated regularly based on consultation from members and the industry in relation to entry level requirements.

The hospitality industry continues to rate a lack of skilled employees as one of the key challenges facing hospitality business operators.

According to The Restaurant Association annual hospitality report, the number of hospitality businesses in New Zealand increased to almost 18,000 in 2019. While the industry currently employs 130,000 people, the key challenge is a lack of skilled employees.

Restaurant Association member feedback from 2021 indicates that 92 percent of hospitality businesses trying to recruit skilled workers were finding it difficult to do so. These recruitment challenges remain and in April 2021 this was highlighted as the biggest pain point for operators.

The latest Stats NZ figures show there are more than 135,000 people unemployed in New Zealand. Hospostart hopes to reduce these rates and make it easier for restaurants to find skilled workers.

“Involvement in the programme makes it easier for Hospostart trainees to enter our industry. In addition, knowing they have mentoring support from a team through their first few months of job seeking is a vital component to their success,” said Marisa Bidois, CEO of the Restaurant Association.

“We are working with a number of establishments that have employed young Hospostart candidates with great outcomes on both sides. Not only is it important to find new recruits for the industry and ensure they are work ready, but we also know it’s important to give people the opportunity to have a meaningful career in our industry.”

Ministry of Social Development’s Director Industry Partnerships Amanda Nicolle said Hospostart would support job seekers get the skills they need to fill the range of vacancies in the sector.

“We’re committed to working with the sector to build the capacity needed with New Zealanders looking for work. This is a successful programme that’s highly relevant for the hospitality sector and our job seekers, building confidence and skills to get into work.”