Young workers in the food industry in the spotlight

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YOUNG PEOPLE are the lifeblood of the hospitality industry, but often feel underestimated and unrecognized.

The new Sussex Rising Stars Awards aim to change that with a series of honors to recognize their outstanding work – and now is the time to name the ones worth it.

The UK has long had a problem encouraging Britons to pursue long-term careers in the hospitality industry and the broader food and drink sector.

Salaries are traditionally low, hours are long, and jobs are often very busy, whether in the kitchen or with guests at home.

Brexit and the pandemic have seen young European hotel and farm workers return to the relative safety of their home countries, with new UK work visa regulations now effectively banning their return.

Meanwhile, Brits of all ages who have worked in the industry have – by choice or necessity – moved into other roles over the past year.

Bite Sussex food and drink festival says it is essential to encourage more young people in long-term sectors.

To promote this, the team behind Bite Sussex, together with the Sussex branch of the Institute of Hospitality, launched the Sussex Rising Stars Awards earlier this year.

Now members of the public, colleagues, friends and family are invited to nominate exceptional young people aged 26 or under working in the hospitality and food and beverage industry.

The categories are:

  • Rising bar star: those who work in pubs and bars
  • Rising star of agriculture: those who work in cultivation and animal husbandry
  • Rising star in fishing: those who work in the seafood fishery
  • Rising Star of Hidden Hero: Those who work in the invisible background, including housekeeping, maintenance and back office
  • Rising star of the kitchen: those who work as chefs
  • Rising star of production: those working in food and beverage manufacturing and processing
  • Rising star of the Sussex Champion: someone who went the extra mile
  • Rising Star Up Front: Those who work in hospitality, service and consumer services in retail
  • Rising Star of the Vine: Those who work in Sussex vineyard cultivation and wine production

Applications close at midnight on Thursday.

After this date, a panel of industry experts, chaired by Sir Peter Field, will shortlist the finalists for an interview ahead of the awards ceremony to be held in

My Brighton hotel in November.

You can name your Rising Stars for free on their website.

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