A UNIQUE partnership is set to help Cumbrian tourism and hospitality businesses tackle major staff shortages following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newsquest, LOCALiQ Cumbria in partnership with Stagecoach are looking to help the county’s businesses get back on their feet after an unprecedented year.

According to Cumbria Tourism, in April 34 per cent of businesses were concerned about recruiting staff due to factors including staff moving on during the pandemic, post-Brexit immigration policy changes, current travel restrictions and many businesses hiring at the same time.

Over the last month this issue has escalated sharply across all business types throughout the county, and many have been forced to turn to agency staff which comes with additional financial burden.

And there are now fears many businesses may not survive if the issues cannot be addressed.

In a bid to help, Newsquest / LOCALiQ Cumbria the parent company of the News & Star, The Mail, The Cumberland News, The Westmorland Gazette, the Times & Star and The Whitehaven News have teamed up with Stagecoach to launch the Love Local Jobs Tourism and Hospitality campaign.

Lee Taylor-Cradock, sales director of Local iQ Cumbria said: “We are looking to support the huge requirement for staff in the tourism and hospitality sector across Cumbria.

“The campaign will see us make our in print and online recruitment platforms accessible free of charge for any business which currently has vacancies within the sector.

“Businesses can easily take advantage of this offer over the next five weeks as we aim to help fill as many vacancies as possible.

“The free advert will appear across our entire portfolio of print products reaching more than 183.3k readers every week, as well as appearing on our websites attracting more than 2.5million browsers a month and be listing on our national job board.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron hailed the campaign.

“Going around the Lakes and talking to businesses, who are doing a superb job fighting back from Covid, the tragedy is the thing that is hampering them is the lack of staff, he said.

“It’s a wonderful industry to work in, in the most spectacular part of the world so I am hugely supportive of what Newsquest and Stagecoach are doing to encourage people to take up opportunities in a great business.”

For any business wanting to take advantage of this FREE offer all they need to do is contact Chris Proudfoot at christopher.proudfoot@localiq.co.uk stating their business name, contact number and details of vacancies, we will then reach out and get this arranged.