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Heartening signs of better times

Employers launch recruitment drives as housekeepers prepare to ensure guests feel safe and able to relax.

Our theme for this issue is very much ‘Welcome Back’ to all housekeeping staff – and our guests of course – but we’re also welcoming the return of some jobs in our sector after a devastating year of lockdown closures during the pandemic. We all need some good news, and it doesn’t come better than that the summer staycation boom (long may it last) sees many employers once again recruiting.

A fine example is Cameron House Hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, where the five-star venue is looking to take on over 300 staff in new roles across the resort, from housekeeping, reception, food and beverage, sales and events, and kitchens to maintenance.

They include apprenticeships and graduate positions right up to senior management roles and include a training and development manager, head of guest experience and public area manager.

Jennifer Jurgensen, Cameron House’s director of HR, says: “With the hospitality industry as a whole facing such a tough time at the moment it really is a pleasure to be able to announce that we are now ready to start recruiting for over 300 new positions at Cameron House Hotel.

“Having the right team in place that shares our values is crucial to delivering the five-star Cameron House experience. We look forward to welcoming our new recruits, all of whom will be able to enjoy working at one of the most beautiful resorts in the country, set within the breath-taking Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.”

Cameron House Hotel beside Loch Lomond

Also recruiting and hoping to create some 60 jobs is The Oakman Group at The Woburn Hotel after signing a 25-year lease with The Bedford Estates. The hotel sits at the gateway to Woburn Abbey and has 48 luxury bedrooms and seven individual cottages within the grounds, as well as three conference and events spaces, a restaurant and a large bar.

The plan is to reopen on 17 May when indoor dining is permitted. Peter Borg-Neal, The Oakman Group chairman, says: “Unsurprisingly, there was considerable interest in this wonderful property, and we are delighted and honoured that His Grace the Duke of Bedford has put his trust in us.”

Dermot King, Oakman Group CEO, adds: “We now have 225 bedrooms across The Oakman Group and will be looking to further grow our capacity. We are developing our ability to provide compelling staycation packages as well as ensuring we meet the needs of business travellers.” It’s now a year since one of the first shocks of lockdown hit our sector – Shearings Hotels going into administration. Since then Bespoke Hotels have managed to not only sort a five-year management deal on some 40 of their properties, but are now relaunching them in their new The Coast & Country Hotel Collection.

It’s helped to save jobs in communities which really need them across the United Kingdom. They include The County Hotel and Marine Hotel in Llandudno, St Ives Bay Hotel, The Broadway Park Hotel on the Isle of Wight, The Derwenwater Hotel and Windermere Hotel in the Lake District, Scotland’s The Waverley Castle Hotel at Melrose and The Pitlochry Hydro Hotel.

Peter Borg-Neal with Dermot King at The Woburn Hotel

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