Young people are the life blood of the hospitality industry, yet often feel undervalued and unrecognised, writes Nick Mosley. The new Sussex Rising Stars Awards is an initiative to change that perception.
The UK has had a long-standing problem in encouraging British people into long term careers in hospitality and the wider food and drink sector. Wages have traditionally been poor, hours long and jobs are often high pressure whether in the kitchen or dealing with guests front-of-house.
The double whammy of Brexit and the pandemic has seen young European hospitality and farm workers return to the relative security of their home countries, with new UK work visa regulations now effectively barring their return. In the meantime, Brits of all ages who worked in the industry have – through choice or necessity – moved into other roles over the past year.
With food, drink and hospitality such an important part of the social and economic make-up of the UK, encouraging more young people into the sectors for the long term is essential. To promote this aim, the team behind the Bite Sussex food and drink festival, in conjunction with the Sussex branch of the Institute of Hospitality, launched the Sussex Rising Stars Awards earlier this year.
Members of the public, colleagues, friends and family are invited to nominate outstanding young people – aged 26 or under – working in various roles across the hospitality and food and drink industry.
Bar rising star: those working in pubs and bars
Farming rising star: those working in growing and rearing
Fishing rising star: those working in fish and seafood catch
Hidden Hero rising star: those working in the unseen back-of-house, including housekeeping, maintenance and back office
Kitchen rising star: those working as chefs
Production rising star: those working in the manufacture and processing of food and drink
Sussex Champion rising star: someone who has gone the extra mile
Up Front rising star: those working in hospitality front-of-house, service and consumer-facing service in retail
Vineyard rising star: those working in the growing of vines and production of Sussex wine
Nominations for the Sussex Rising Stars Awards close at midnight on Thursday 30 September 2021. After this date a panel of industry experts, chaired by Sir Peter Field, will shortlist finalists for interview prior to the awards ceremony which will be hosted at My Brighton hotel in November.
You can nominate your Rising Stars for free at www.bitesussex.com/rising-stars-awards