The GC Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub has been a beacon of support throughout the pandemic. It’s an inarguable fact that the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries have been hit the hardest during the pandemic. Today we meet the woman working behind the Hub, Margaret Bartnikiewicz, Recruitment Project Manager.

Hello Margaret! What’s your main priority when working on the GC Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub?

“Well, my main priority for running the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub is to provide support to businesses and individuals within the sector. From my professional experience working within the industry for over 10 years now, I still see it as a great sector to have a career in. Therefore, it is very important for me to engage with as many employers from the industry as possible, to assist their staff growth and the success of their business, as well as finding new talent. I especially love to see people awaken their passion to the sector!”

Thank you for that. Now, there’s no denying that there has been some decline in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries as the pandemic has progressed- could you give your view of what’s happened in-industry over the past year?

“The tourism, hospitality and leisure industries have been one of the hardest with the pandemic, no doubt. A vast majority of employees have been put on furlough, with some even sadly losing their jobs. It’s creating a lot of uncertainty around what to do next, and many people have considered undertaking a career change.”

That’s bad news indeed. What has the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub been working on to support during these hard times?

“We have been supporting those individuals who have lost their jobs to find their next employment opportunity, or when needed, guiding them and assisting with a lasting career change. We have also been working closely with employers to support their currently furloughed staff, keeping them engaged and ready to return to workplace by providing a remote delivery of our industry-focused training and qualification.”

Do you think there has been any specific impact to women who work within the sector?

“There has- amongst parents, Mothers are more likely than Fathers to have left paid work since February 2020 and are 47% more likely to have permanently lost their job or quit, as well as being 14% more likely to have been furloughed. Furthermore, of all UK adults surveyed by YouGov, 70% of women reported that they had felt anxious since March 2020, compared to 53% of men. BAME women in particular have struggled in not knowing where to turn to for help. This is happening across all sectors, not just in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries.”

Those facts are quite harrowing- is there anything you think would be useful for women to know to get into the tourism and hospitality industry?

“From my own experience I can say that the industry is very female-friendly, I find there is no notable division for roles between genders, and it’s a great industry to progress and have a life-time career within.”

Thank you for your thoughts. Finally, could you tell us why you like working at the Growth Company, and what it means to you to be able to help so many people?

“So far this year I have managed to support over 188 unemployed individuals from the sector, helping them finding new employment and progressing within their careers. It’s a great feeling to be able to give back and help others. Working at the Growth Company has enabled me to share my passion for the essential tourism and hospitality industry with young people, helping them find new employment and starting their career paths within the sector. 10 years ago, when I was starting my career there was no such support readily available, therefore it is great to be a part of that change, and be part of that support that the sector needs, and I’m happy to facilitate that support as part of the Growth Company.”

Thank you for speaking with us today, Margaret. If you’re looking for work within the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors, or if you’re interested in learning more about how the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Hub and the support your business and employees, visit our website here for more details.