Destination Coventry
Destination Coventry

Staff recruitment, retention and skills toolkit to support venues across the region in their bid to overcome staffing challenges.

Job vacancies in leisure, tourism and hospitality continue to rise in Coventry and Warwickshire as the sector struggles with recruitment and retention of staff.

Figures show that customer services roles were the sixth most advertised sector in Coventry specifically, while customer service advisors and cleaners feature in the top 10 most sought-after occupations.

This come as jobs in the visitor economy have also grown by 2.5 per cent since 2019 and food and beverage is the third largest job sector, supporting more than 13,900 jobs and having grown 1.3 per cent since 2019.

Conference Coventry & Warwickshire, which is part of destination management organisation (DMO) Destination Coventry, is launching a new staff recruitment, retention and skills toolkit to support venues across the region in their bid to overcome staffing challenges.

No Ordinary Hospitality Management (NOHM) operates Coombe Abbey Hotel, commercial outlets at Coombe Abbey Park, manages six restored historic buildings that have become accommodation, and runs St Mary’s Guildhall.

Charlotte Birch, HR manager at Coombe Abbey Hotel and NOHM, said: “It has been, and continues to be, a challenging time to recruit across hospitality. We aren’t the only sector struggling with staffing but I think it’s important that, as a whole, the industry works together to overcome these challenges.

“However, we are fortunate at Coombe Abbey and NOHM in that we are well known locally and have a number of staff that have worked here for many years, giving us a wealth of knowledge and skills within the business. We are an incredibly diverse business that offers opportunities beyond the norm and I think that’s important in this climate.

“Offering flexible working patterns and shifts gives something different to employees and it’s important to create loyalty to boost retention through packages and staff benefits.

“The supply of workers simply isn’t matching demand. The pandemic and Brexit have hindered recruitment but we are focused on promoting our strengths as an employer, recognising the positives about working in hospitality and making it a viable career choice.”

Conference Coventry and Warwickshire’s new ‘Resourcing & Skills - Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality Sector’ toolkit is a free resource available to all venues in the region. It is a collaboration between organisations from across the area to provide a one-stop-shop for recruitment and training resources.

The DMO has worked with Coventry City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority, college group WCG, Coventry College, PET-Xi, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training and Warwickshire Skills Hub to create the toolkit.

It includes details on apprenticeships, training schemes, employment programmes and contact details for the key partners.

Paul Jones, managing director of Conference Coventry and Warwickshire, said: “We’ve been speaking with venues of all shapes and sizes and it’s clear that recruitment, retention and upskilling remain a dominating barrier to the sector’s recovery.

“When creating our toolkit, we facilitated a collaboration between a large group of regional and local recruitment and training providers, all of which have the programmes and support in place to help these businesses.

“There’s a wide range of support available in the region to businesses that are looking to attract more people to work in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and we will continue to work with partners across Coventry and Warwickshire to help venues access resources.”

Charlotte Bench, Sector Engagement Officer at Coventry College, said: “Coventry College offers both traineeship training and apprenticeship training in a large choice of sectors including business and professional, construction, early years, motor vehicle and more.

“We are one of many colleges up and down the country who are here to provide training services. Our aim is to guide and prepare students for full-time employment alongside or following the achievement of a relevant qualification.

“We currently have over 30 live vacancies through the National Apprenticeship Service and will continue to support other employers through our roll-on roll-off courses throughout the year.”

For more information visit

Download your free toolkit here.