UKHospitality has joined forces with Jobcentre Plus to promote vacancies in the hospitality industry as the sector struggles with severe staff shortages.
The trade body will be running sessions with Jobcentre work coaches in every region of England and parts of Scotland and Wales this month.
The initiative has been developed with the government through the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).
A recent UKHospitality survey estimated there was a shortage of 188,000 workers at all levels of the industry. Some 80% of businesses reported vacancies for front of house roles, 85% are in need of chefs, 43% are looking for assistant and general managers and almost half have housekeeping vacancies.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the sector could play a "constructive role" in tackling unemployment.
"Prior to Covid, the hospitality industry employed 3.2 million people in the UK, making it the third-largest private sector employer in the UK," she said.
"The government can help to restore confidence in the sector so once again it as seen as a dynamic sector of growth, and a provider of fulfilling careers that will help power the UK's economic and social recovery."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan today called on ministers to review the ‘damaging' changes to visa rules that have affected the hospitality industry since last year and backed the creation of a ‘coronavirus recovery visa' to encourage overseas workers back after the pandemic.
Charity Only a Pavement Away, which helps people facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans find employment, is aiming to help 700 vulnerable people into work over the next three years and is looking to help plug the hospitality skills drought.
The group has previously worked with Corbin & King, Pub Love and the Ivy Collection.
Greg Mangham, co-founder and chief executive of Only a Pavement Away, said: "We believe everyone deserves a chance to build a career and our people-focused industry can offer many of those who are struggling the lifeline they are looking for, particularly at the moment as the hospitality industry is struggling to recruit."