I had the pleasure of going to a celebration event last night at the London Sea Life Centre for People 1st’s 10th Birthday. We were able to walk among the tanks of sharks and sting ray as well, as watch clown fish playing with anemones, whilst meeting with colleagues and partners at People 1st.
Inspiring Partnerships have been working with People 1st through the Hospitality Skills Project in Central Bedfordshire. That project was linked to the opening of Center Parcs at Woburn Forest; the first paying guests arrived a week ago and there is a real buzz about it. Our project was aimed at supporting unemployed people into work at Center Parcs and other hospitality employers through training and support. People 1st developed Employment 1st as a 60 hour Introduction to Hospitality and I worked with the lovely Mandy France at People 1st to bring the courses to Bedfordshire.
It was a pleasure to see the 100s of people with whom People 1st work and to hear about the scale of their impact on the sector. They were set up in 2004 when the hospitality sector had the lowest investment in training of any UK sector, the country was languishing at 17th in the list of the world’s most welcoming and there were over 500 different training courses available, baffling student and employers alike. In 2014, the hospitality sector is now investing more in training than any other sector, the country has risen to 9th on the welcoming scale and the courses have been slimmed down to nearer a 100, with quality increasing. Women in particular have been a focus to see females represented in management positions and over 5000 people have got into work in the sector through Employment 1st .
When listening to these presentations, I was struck by how good it is to celebrate success and how important it is. It gives everyone a lift and an opportunity to reflect on the positives and be inspired for the next challenge. Some organisations are not very good at this and the public sector often feels that it is isn’t allowed in the present climate. However if we are to support innovation, best practice and great customer service, human beings benefit hugely from a positive buzz, a new experience and a pat on the back! It is how we make progress and keep people on side for the challenges ahead.
Have a sunny weekend,