A Liverpool hotelier has been named ‘Role Model of the Year’ for giving jobs to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Lawrence Kenwright, who owns the hotel and property firm Signature Living, was given the award at the European Diversity Awards in London on Thursday 16 November.
Signature Living, the company behind the Shankly Hotel, 30 James Street, Cardiff’s Exchange Hotel and the forthcoming George Best Hotel in Belfast, has always aimed to provide jobs for the local community.
Kenwright grew up in inner city Liverpool and oversees his company’s employment and training social mobility programme, which has secured long-term employment for hundreds of young people.
Last year, he took part in National Geographic channel’s ‘Undercover Angel’ TV programme, where he supported a variety of young people’s organisations in Hackney.
Kenwright said: “You don’t have to have the best education in the world to make something of yourself. Some employers treat people from disadvantaged backgrounds like bombs ready to go off.
“In reality, if you give someone a good job with the prospect of learning new skills, and with opportunities for advancement, you will find that they will work hard and do themselves proud. We don’t want people who sit behind a desk all day, we want motivated people who are mad enough to be brilliant: and believe me, there are loads of them in Liverpool.”