“Today’s announcement of the tourism sector deal is a positive step towards tackling some of the challenges faced by our tourism sector and realising its enormous potential.
“As the biggest investors in place, council cultural services, as well as planning, business support, highways and environmental health are fundamental to creating destinations that people want to visit, as well as live in.
“Our new research, published today, highlights the skills challenges facing the tourism industry, particularly for smaller businesses that are crucial to the sector.
“With the tourism and hospitality industry employing more than 3 million people and generating over £126 billion annually, it is important that councils are equipped with the tools to ensure their economies have a skilled workforce.
“Councils are best placed to coordinate skills and employment investment decisions to support local employers and providers and help local people into jobs.
“The Government needs to adopt the LGA’s Work Local approach to enable this and ramp up apprenticeship levy reforms, to ensure activity is aligned with the place and sector-based elements of the industrial strategy.
“We urge DCMS to work closely with the DfE so that the new T levels are introduced rapidly, and that local councils and providers are given the flexibility to target training at particular local skills gaps.
“The new Tourism Zones created by the deal will also allow councils and businesses to come together and pool resources to tackle long-standing issues, including ways to extend the visitor season beyond the summer months.
“Local government plays a crucial role in leading and creating a thriving visitor economy, but it is vital they are properly resourced. With local government facing a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025, it is essential that the forthcoming Spending Review provides councils with the resources to create a successful and thriving tourism and hospitality sector.
“We look forward to working with government and industry to ensure the long-term success of the deal.”