FUTURE FORWARD

Saira Hospitality to Take Root in London

Connecting a new generation of talent to hotels to tackle the industry's largest staffing crisis

Hotel San Cristobal in Todo Santos; one of Saira’s hospitality partners in Mexico
Hotel San Cristobal in Todo Santos; one of Saira’s hospitality partners in Mexico

By Amulya Hiremath, edited by Hamzeh Alfarahneh on 06.01.22

“Hotels are an escape from reality, a utopia for adults, where if service, design, and quality are what they should be, you feel as if you’re finally in the home you’ve always wished you owned,” says Harsha L’Acqua, CEO of Saira Hospitality which is committed to making this utopia happen.

Saira Hospitality is a non-profit working to source and train talent from those far from the job market to benefit the hospitality industry all across the globe through their unique pop-up schools. Come June, London will be home to Saira’s first permanent hospitality school located at Redchurch Street in Shoreditch.

Participants from Saira’s sessions at Habitas Namibia
Participants from Saira’s sessions at Habitas Namibia

Spearheaded by Harsha, the school will hire a new generation of talent to support London’s hotels, especially in the face of the largest staffing crisis that hospitality has ever seen. “The need to think differently and collectively as an industry has never been greater. We have a unique moment to introduce a new way of hiring, bringing education, employment, and opportunities to those who truly need and deserve it,” recognizes Harsha.

Harsha L’Acqua, CEO of Saira Hospitality at a training session in Namibia
Harsha L’Acqua, CEO of Saira Hospitality at a training session in Namibia

Saira’s renowned roster of hospitality partners includes Rosewood, Virgin & Marriott, The Hoxton, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, Edyn, Inhabit, and Montcalm. Partnering to hire graduates directly from the school, these brands help translate the change Saira intends to facilitate into reality.

Joining hands with Saira are government organizations, refugee employment charities, youth empowerment groups, mentorship programs for ex-offenders, and organizations that facilitate meaningful change for those far from the job market. Widening the pool further, Saira is also teaming up with local councils and government divisions such as the Department for Work and Pensions to source new talent.

Hotel San Cristobal in Todo Santos
Hotel San Cristobal in Todo Santos

Saira’s unique model benefits the local communities and shows a marked effect on hotel operations — decreasing staff turnover rates while helping save big bucks on recruiting expenditure. In addition, Saira’s game-changing model proves that putting people and purpose first can have a tangible impact on business, disrupting the long-standing tradition of importing trained professionals from overseas. The hospitality industry is constantly breaking conventions and evolving for the better and organizations like Saira are helping pave the way.

Habitas Namibia
Habitas Namibia
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
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