Sodexo’s global event in London ‘a great message’ to UK

Sean Haley Sodexo Quality of Life Conference
Sean Haley: Conference is a great message to the UK
17/10/2017 - 10:47
The decision by France-based global services provider Sodexo to hold its Quality of Life Conference in London is a ‘great message’ according to UK & Ireland chairman Sean Haley.

He said that despite UK plans to leave the European Union there was never any doubt in the company’s mind about holding the major international ‘thought-leadership’ event here.

“London is a great, international city so we see the decision to host the conference here as a great message to the UK people – alongside the significant acquisitions we’ve made here over the last year.”

Since October 2016 Sodexo has acquired procurement specialist PSL, the events arm of Peyton & Byrne, home care provider Prestige Nursing + Care and contract caterer The Good Food Company.

He said: “We take a long-term view. As an example we were among the early investors in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

“We look ahead and take bold steps; as a family-owned firm we can take a long-term view and provide stability even in uncertain times.

“We acknowledge that Brexit will bring changes and we accept it as a challenge

“Two of the major issues facing the industry are finding and retaining staff and inflation. That is why we will continue working closely with partners such as the British Hospitality Association to understand what is happening and the role we can play.

“Hospitality and catering has perhaps taken for granted EU migrant labour in the past, now we need to look more closely at the resources we have here in the UK.

“Sodexo has massively expanded apprenticeships and we are looking at retaining older people in the workforce and also at under-used resources such as ex-offenders on release from prison and those from the military as the armed forces downsize.”

The Quality of Life Conference is taking place over two days (yesterday and today) at Old Billingsgate, London with chief executive Michel Landel inviting senior staff, major suppliers and business partners to look at the challenges facing society.

These include an ageing population, poverty, bringing more women into the workplace, increasing sustainability and embracing new technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Haley added: “There is a genuine desire on our part to start a conversation and get people thinking and talking about these challenges.

“And we want to be seen as the sort of company that is not just looking at today and tomorrow, but also ahead for the next 50 years or so.”

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