Cardiff Met student Charlene McKenzie is calling UK hospitality leaders and students to join forces for a unique debate at the Hospitality and Catering Expo at the Celtic Manor in July, to discuss how they can work together to tackle the pending people crisis facing the industry.
McKenzie, who is studying International Hospitality & Events Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, has written an open letter to the industry to urge leaders from hotels, restaurants and catering businesses to listen to the views of students preparing for careers in an industry, which represents the third largest economic contributor in the UK.
With an expected loss of 79,000 workers post Brexit, the hospitality industry is facing major challenges in finding enough staff to fill roles across the UK.
As part of her letter, McKenzie has called on other students from hospitality and Catering colleges from across the UK to attend the debate and share their views.
H&C EXPO, being held at Celtic Manor in July, is an event aimed at future-proofing the hospitality industry - a sector which employs one in ten people in the UK.
McKenzie said: "With so many industry leaders and students gathering at the H&C EXPO event in July, I was keen to pull all parties together to share knowledge and talk through industry issues which are affecting us all.
"As students, we have the potential to be the industry leaders of the future, so it's important that we work closely with businesses and collectively gain a better understanding of the needs of both employee and employer. I hope that we will have a good response from industry representatives and I look forward to some productive discussions."
Mark Harris, event director, H&C EXPO, added: "Recruiting and retaining staff is something the hospitality industry has been facing for some time. Brexit will add further pressure to what is an already precarious situation for the sector.
"This debate will enable students and business leaders to discuss how they can work together to ensure they can put measures in place to help mitigate against this."