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Armed forces a rich pool of talent for hospitality


Access to talent coming out of the armed forces could go some way softening the Brexit blow for hospitality says Valor

Through signing the Armed Forces Covenant, Valor Hospitality Europe is aiming to support armed forces veterans and reservists in the UK as well as enriching its own workforce.

“There are about 14,000 people annually who come out of the armed forces so it’s a really rich source of recruitment for us and we are very keen to advertise opportunities that might suit those individuals,” Valor area HR manager Eimear O’Brien told HR magazine.

The international hospitality business has pledged its support for the UK government-backed Armed Forces Covenant, which has been developed to encourage businesses to support serving and veteran armed forces personnel and their families and to recognise the skills that they can transfer to civilian life.

“Some people coming out of the forces are very highly skilled and from a reservist’s point of view an employer that supports the training they undertake is very valuable to them because in addition to their holiday entitlement we support them with another two weeks of leave for their required training,” O’Brien said.

Due to its vast naval population Plymouth is a hotspot for potential exiting armed forces personnel and Valor’s Crowne Plaza is making the most of it.

“In Plymouth we have a great pool of talent that is coming out of the forces, who have been highly trained and highly disciplined, which is a real attraction for us,” explained Plymouth Crowne Plaza HR manager Richard Newbery. “People in the armed forces can be anything from engineers we’d use in hotels through to chefs, stewards and servicing staff and those who have been trained to deal with people from all walks of life – something like that is a key transferrable skill for hospitality,” he added.

Meanwhile the company’s HRD Moira Laird said that while Brexit implications are putting pressure on the hospitality industry, with the number of EU workers arriving in the UK continuing to decrease, access to the huge amount of talent coming out of the armed forces could go some way to plugging this gap.

“It is an opportunity for us to be as diverse as possible and to open up every possible avenue of attracting people to our business,” Laird said.

Hospitality management firm Valor Hospitality Europe was founded in December 2014 in the UK and currently manages 17 properties across the country.