Our Bay Needs You - Now (to take up a job)

Councillor mug shot

Deputy leader Darren Cowell - Credit: Torbay Council

A special campaign is being launched to head off a jobs crisis in Torbay.

Businesses across the English Riviera are in a new battle after showing tremendous resilience to re-open after taking a pandemic battering.

Businesses, especially in the tourism and hospitality sector, cannot find the workers to fill jobs.

Torbay is not alone in what is quickly becoming a national issue affecting jobs across the board, including the construction and the care industry. But the resort has decided to put on a united front and tackle the problem head on and now – Torbay Together!

TDA on behalf of Torbay Council, the English Riviera BID Company and other key business partners, have teamed up with the Torbay Weekly to launch a special Torbay Needs You jobs campaign.

The Riviera is in a great place at the moment with Staycation business booming like never before and millions of pounds being invested in the resort from both the public and private sectors. It is hoped that anybody looking for work will seize the 'Now is the Time' moment and help transform the Bay's fortunes. There is also a vast array of training courses and apprenticeship opportunities up for grabs at South Devon College.

Over the coming weeks we will be working with the campaign partners to explain why they are backing the initiative as well as publishing and highlighting as many job vacancies as possible - and where and how to find them.

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We will also be talking to people who have taken up jobs or training opportunities to show Torbay is a great place to visit, live - and work!

The campaign partners are: TDA on behalf of Torbay Council; English Riviera BID Company;  South Devon College;  TLH; Beverley Holidays;  Chefshare;  Providence Hospitality; Department of Work and Pensions and Job Centre Plus.

Cllr Darren Cowell, council deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “This is a great opportunity for anybody who is out of work to start a new career, retrain and find work locally. Not only will your work be valued by the businesses you work for but local people and visitors will also recognise your hard work and efforts to make their visits enjoyable. Torbay’s tourism and hospitality businesses need you to help make the difference and ensure Torbay remains a quality place for residents and visitors.”

English Riviera BID Company chief executive Carolyn Custerson said: "This summer is a critically important summer. Staycations are at an all time high and the English Riviera will see more first time visitors than ever before. But we have a problem. For a whole variety of reasons including Brexit, COVID, Furlough and the delivery of the Vaccine Programme, many young people that would normally be applying for summer seasonal jobs haven’t done so. 

"With the tourism economy worth £4.7 million and staff shortages potentially threatening the Customer Experience, the English Riviera BID Company wants to support this very important campaign as ‘Torbay Needs You - Now!"

Cllr Swithin Long, Torbay Council cabinet member for economic regeneration, tourism and housing, said: “There are vacancies in local hotels, restaurants and cafes, both front of house and behind the scenes. We are encouraging anybody looking for work to take up these opportunities in exciting and rewarding jobs.”Currently there are more than 1,000 tourism businesses in Torbay employing over 12,000 people and that’s set to increase with multi-million pound investments including the new hotels.

“The time for choosing a career in the tourism and hospitality sector has never been better,” said Lynn Stephens, Head of Leisure and Hospitality Industries at South Devon College and Chair of the English Riviera Destination Management -Group.

The recruitment issues currently facing tourism and hospitality businesses has been raised in the House of Lords, as well as at regional level with the Heart of the South West LEP and with Torbay MP Kevin Foster through the Great South West Tourism Partnership.

The BID company, supported by TDA who collated the evidence, led reports on behalf of the sector.