An initiative to help women from “marginalised” communities and backgrounds to find jobs in the travel industry is returning for a second year.
Women Returners, which is run by social enterprise group Women in Travel, sees the tourism and hospitality industries working with charities to identify, select, train and match women with suitable employers.
The new programme will be held at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London, from 30 September to 4 October.
The event includes a series of workshops and peer mentoring groups, while employers are invited to interview a small group of women interested in working in travel for entry-level jobs or paid internships.
Candidates will come from a variety of backgrounds including refugees, homeless women, as well as victims of sexual trafficking and domestic abuse. Many of the women already have relevant experience in the industry.
Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel, said: “The travel, tourism and hospitality industry is a fast-growing sector in the UK, but talent is becoming increasingly scarce.
“The Women Returners programme selects and trains women who are eager to return to work in the industry, but are currently under the radar, and ensures their talent is visible to travel, tourism and hospitality employers who are keen to engage with a more diverse workforce.”
One of the successful participants in last year’s programme is Syrian refugee Ghazal Ahmad who is now a reservation agent at the Copthorne Tara Hotel.
“I was so pleased to find out about the Women Returners programme,” explained Ahmad. “I arrived in London from Syria and did not know anyone, but the programme gave me confidence and a great introduction to the hospitality sector, in which I already had some experience.
“I started as reservation co-ordinator but after just four months I was given a promotion, which I was so happy about.”
Companies interested in taking part in the Women Returners programme in September can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.