Social enterprise Women in Travel CIC and homelessness charity Crisis have launched a commercial initiative to help unemployed women find travel and tourism jobs.

Women in Travel will work with Crisis to support and train women who have been out of work but would like to pursue a career in travel and tourism. Companies already signed up to partner on the initiative include MTR Crossrail, Georgian House Hotel, Underthedoormat, Digital Dialogue and Diamondair.

Those enrolled in the Women Returners programme will receive a one-week training course where employers can meet and interview women with the view to either employing them full-time or providing them with short-term paid internships. The first programme begins on 29 January and will offer attendees employment opportunities with industry partners.

Alessandra Alonso, founder of Women in Travel (pictured), commented: “This is a first for the industry and I am very excited about the opportunities that the sector can offer these women who want to be economically active but have been prevented by sometimes challenging personal circumstances. I am also excited about what the women have to offer to the industry. They are motivated, often very experienced and keen to demonstrate their commitment to available employers. It is a win-win.”

Paul Siniecki, strategic labour needs and training manager at MTR Crossrail, added: “We recognise the importance of engaging a diverse workforce, reflective of the communities we serve. We offer high-quality and sustainable job opportunities with a particular focus on attracting workless candidates. Supporting ‘Women Returners’ is a fantastic opportunity for MTR Crossrail to achieve this by engaging with and supporting women in London back into employment.”

Companies that wish to support the initiative are asked to pay a membership fee that goes toward the set-up and training of women. In exchange, businesses can display the Women Returners logo and have access to free training for employees.

Women in Travel says recruitment fees will eventually be paid when women in the programme are fully employed.

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