The budget hotel chain Travelodge wants to recruit parents returning to work to fill post-Brexit staffing gaps, as it pushes ahead with 100 hotel openings that will create 3,000 new jobs over the next five years.
The company, one of Britain’s biggest hotel chains with 575 properties, said it is looking to fill 550 jobs immediately and hoped to attract parents by offering hours that fit around the school run.
They include roles in reception, restaurants, housekeeping as well as some head office roles with flexible hours. Travelodge said it was targeting some of the UK’s 2 million-plus unemployed parents, citing YouGov research that 86% of them would like to return to work.
The majority of Travelodge’s hotel managers are female, and across the group almost three-quarters of its staff (72%) are women.
Like the rest of the hospitality sector, Travelodge is heavily reliant on EU staff, who account for 30% of its workforce. The industry has warned of the devastating impact the government’s plans to slash immigration from the EU by 80% after Brexit will have on hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. The government wants to extend the £30,000-a-year minimum salary threshold that applies to non-EU workers to EU migrants.
The firm’s chief executive, Peter Gowers, said: “Travelodge is growing quickly and we want to unlock the potential of Britain’s mums and dads as they return to work. Hospitality can offer a great career for parents, with jobs close to home, hours that can match the school run, benefits that suit families and a path into management.
“We are preparing in earnest for post-Brexit Britain. With thousands of new jobs to fill, we need more new colleagues than ever. We see vast untapped potential in parents who want to return to work.”
Travelodge, which came close to collapse in 2012, reported an 8.8% growth in sales to £693.3m last year. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by £9.6m to £122m.
Gowers sounded a cautious note on the firm’s outlook for the next few months. Revenues per room were down by 2.3% in the first eight weeks of this year, as strong bookings in London were offset by falling sales in the rest of the country.
The firm has spent £100m sprucing up its hotels, adding more “super rooms” – which come equipped with coffee machines, power showers and a choice of pillows – to draw in business travellers.