The hospitality industry has welcomed the Skills for Jobs White Paper, which sets out reforms to post-16 technical education and training to support people to develop the skills to get good jobs and improve national productivity.
Trade body UKHospitality has highlighted the importance of providing a pathway for young people into employment to secure the future of the hospitality sector and help economic regeneration post-Covid.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “Encouraging more people into careers in hospitality was a priority for the sector even before the devastation of the pandemic. As we emerge from the crisis, securing support to offer pathways for young people into employment will be more vital than ever.
“Giving employers more input into the qualifications delivered and encouraging collaboration with further education institutions is extremely welcome. There is an opportunity for the hospitality to drive the economic recovery of the UK after this crisis has passed.
“Providing people with the knowledge, skills and desire to embark on a rewarding and exciting career will be crucial to filling hard-to-fill vacancies, ensuring the hospitality sector bounces back stronger from the crisis, and supporting the regeneration of the country’s economy.”
The White Paper outlines how the Government will support people to develop their skills, including giving employers a greater say in the development of skills, supporting outstanding teachers and providing higher level technical skills.
Mark Corbett, education and skills policy manager at The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), added: “It is encouraging that the Government has acknowledged the need to address the fall in apprenticeships.
“The additional support for SMEs, and a matching service, will help with the take-up of the levy transfer, but it doesn’t address the root cause of businesses not being able to use their levy due to inflexibilities in the system.
“While we support the announcement that from April 2021 eligible adults can access a (level 3) qualification for free, it is disappointing that there are currently no options in food and drink manufacturing. Food and drink businesses have been recruiting throughout the pandemic and continue to offer excellent career opportunities to people who want to retrain.”