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A Career for Life – Cairn Group commits support to changing perceptions of hospitality jobs

Nationwide hotel operator Cairn Group is one of the latest hospitality operators to sign up to a new voluntary code for employers aimed at changing perceptions of careers in hospitality.

Our Hospitality Commitment has been developed by People 1st International to help alleviate the challenges of recruiting and retaining talented people in the industry, while making hospitality an industry of choice.

Cairn Group is passionate that jobs in hospitality are seen as long-term careers, and has invested heavily in training and development, apprenticeships and recognition to encourage just that. It runs an internal Leadership Development Programme to strengthen, inspire and empower managers, offers multiple apprenticeships, organises placements to showcase the sector and launched the Cairn Group Awards last year to celebrate the achievements of its people.

The Group’s Cairn Academy initiative, offering management and chef apprenticeships, has been running for two years and an employee survey highlighted that 90 per cent felt it supported their career progression. In 2019, over 100 people got to experience the sector during work placements across the hotels which is continuing into 2020, as a ‘Hotel Take Over’ in February will see 20 travel and tourism students get to experience various roles first-hand.

The Group, which operates UK-wide, will adhere to the code across all of its 32 hotels, which include signature properties The Cairn Collection, and brands such as DoubleTree by Hilton, Holiday Inn and Mercure, as well as more than 30 bars and restaurants, and its headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Richard Adams, HR director at Cairn Group, said: “Our Hospitality Commitment isn’t just a pledge, it’s something all operators have to live by to truly change standards and overall perceptions of careers in hospitality. With the current landscape there’s never been a more important time to be attracting people into the industry and futureproof our talent pipeline.

“Over the last few years in particular we’ve done a lot to create opportunities for our people to show that we want them to have happy and long-term careers with us, helping to retain and attract. There are a lot of misconceptions about hospitality jobs but our latest employee survey results show that we have an engaged team and our satisfaction levels continue to grow.”

Sandra Kelly, UK skills & policy director at People 1st International added: “We’re delighted that Cairn Group have made the commitment to becoming an ‘employer of choice’, providing good quality training, work-life balance and support to their people. They’ve embedded some fantastic training and development initiatives to help encourage a better quality job experience and promote the industry as a rewarding career choice. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this has on attracting and retaining talent in their business.”

In addition to adopting the code across its properties, the Group is keen to encourage its industry peers to follow suit, starting with the North East Hotels Association of which Cairn Group is an active member and the first of the association’s members to commit to the code.

For more information on Cairn Group visit, and for more details on Our Hospitality Commitment visit