The hospitality sector boasts an employment rate of over 2.3millon people and is due to surpass a £100billion combined turnover by the end of 2018, maintaining its stance as a key component in the UK Economy. It is the third largest private sector employer, representing 10% of UK employment.
The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030, a report by a group of All Party Parliamentary Group chairs, makes several recommendations aimed to boost employment and retention in the sector. The inquiry was commissioned by UKHospitality, the trade body for hospitality operators.
The report suggested that young people should receive comprehensive careers information and access to work experience programmes that demonstrate what the hospitality sector has to offer, and what a career in the sector would be like in practice.
Inclusion of hospitality in the school curriculum and careers advice structures starting as early as possible, was also suggested to encourage people to start seeing hospitality as an industry where life-long careers can be achieved and grow, rather than a stepping stone on their way to other opportunities.
Encouragement to provide on-the-job training and lifelong learning for current employees rather than searching out of house for senior roles, was suggested to allow staff members the chance to broaden their skill set and keeps staff turnover low.
Emphasise from the government to encourage ‘soft skill’s training, such as communication, teamwork and dedication, and more funding for apprenticeships were other recommendations suggested by the report.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 exhaustively examined the opportunities and challenges that our sector faces and actions to be taken. If acted upon these will enable us to provide even greater investment, and provide more jobs, in communities across the UK. Implementing the recommendations will allow us to more effectively provide careers and opportunities, particularly for harder-to-place workers, and help the Government hit its apprenticeship target. With political and economic instability in the aftermath of Brexit, this is too good an opportunity for the Government to miss.”
In addition, UKHospitality is urging the Chancellor to increase the threshold for employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from £6,000 to £12,000 to stimulate greater recruitment and cut business costs. It is also critical the setting of the National Living Wage rate remains independent and non-politicised.
The industry aims to continue its role as an engine of growth for the UK economy. It has the potential and ambition to create tens of thousands of new jobs and up to 200,00 new apprenticeships over the next five years, as well as broader development and learning opportunities.