North East leisure firm launches recruitment drive to create 400 jobs

A UK leisure firm has launched a recruitment drive to fill approximately 400 roles as it prepares to reopen its venues.

The Apartment Group, which owns and operates venues across the North East, made 400 redundancies last year due to the pandemic, and is now looking to rebuild its workforce.

The reopening and hiring plan comes following the publication of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Debrah Dhugga, chief operations officer at The Apartment Group, commented: “At the start of the pandemic there was no furlough and no government support, so we had to make around 400 redundancies and lost a lot of great talent.

“But now we are reopening everywhere, so are in a big recruitment drive and need 400 people, if not more.

“And within the business we are trying to bring back workers who have not got a job – we want to bring back our own Apartment Group family if we can.

“We opened Beach Box when we came out of the first lockdown after converting the car park by As You Like It in Jesmomd, a brand developed because of the pandemic.

“We are also going to open a second one at The Palm in Sunderland, so that has been a positive story.

“The bookings are just crazy – and I know people just want to go out but it’s quite scary.

“We have to be positive but we also have to be careful. Anyone who thinks differently isn’t taking it seriously.

“We have to make sure we are Covid-safe and have all the correct PPE. Everyone is going to be outside, drinking alcohol, but we still have to remember what we have lived through for the past year and be cautious. Everyone will be on tenterhooks.

“I’m fed up of my own company and want to see people again, but at the end of the day this is a roadmap and April 12 is just the first turn off, and it could turn at any time.”

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