Travelodge turns to parents as Brexit recruitment crisis takes hold

Travelodge is to target unemployed parents as it looks to address a Brexit recruitment crisis amid a decline in applicants from EU countries.

The hotels giant said it is launching a new hiring programme to help mother and fathers return to work as it prepares for life after Brexit, with the firm’s boss saying Travelodge can no longer wait for Theresa May’s Government to come up with a plan.

Chief executive Peter Gowers added: “We’ve become more proactive. We can’t wait around like two men on a park bench waiting for Godot for the Government to decide what the post-Brexit machine is going to be.

“We are preparing in earnest for post-Brexit Britain. With thousands of new jobs to fill, we need more new colleagues than ever.”

Almost a third of Travelodge’s employees are from EU countries, but the firm has noticed a drop-off in applications from the bloc since the Brexit vote.

New Travelodge CEO
Chief executive Peter Gowers said Travelodge sees ‘vast untapped potential’ in parents who want to return to work (Sonja Horsman/PA)

The company is now responding by targeting workers looking for flexible hours to fit in with family and other commitments.

Travelodge is hoping “parent potential” will help fill 3,000 new jobs as it plans to open 100 hotels over the next five years, with 550 roles across the UK needing to be filled immediately.

Mr Gowers said: “We see vast untapped potential in parents who want to return to work.

“We’ve based our new programme on making it easier than ever for mums and dads to work around the school run and climb the career ladder whilst raising their family.”

New YouGov research shows that 86% of unemployed parents want to return to work, but more than half find lack of flexibility the biggest barrier to finding a role.

The UK currently has around 2 million-plus unemployed parents.

The Travelodge jobs will be available across its hotels and head office, including reception, restaurants and housekeeping.