The first session of the Hospitality Workforce 2030 Commission focused on recruitment and retention in the hospitality industry and heard from Tom Hadley from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, Jo Childs from Yo! Sushi, Alison Gilbert from CH&Co and Pauline Chidgey from Stonegate Pub Company.
Speakers and politicians discussed issues such as stigma, the Apprenticeship Levy and the need for a balanced evidence-based immigration system. A number of the speakers highlighted their disappointment that the catering and hospitality T level will not be introduced until 2022 and called on the government to bring it forward.
There was also positive discussion about the benefits of using real life stories to engage potential employers and the need for national campaigns to increase visibility, awareness and potential of the industry.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The UK’s hospitality sector is a dynamic and resourceful one, but it still faces barriers to growth, particularly regarding employment. The Hospitality Workforce 2030 Commission will establish a comprehensive picture of the opportunities facing the sector and allow us to challenge perceptions and promote and enhance the work hospitality businesses already do.”
Co-chair of the first evidence session and Chair of the APPG for Beer Mike Wood MP said: “The ability to attract and retain staff came across as two immediate issues for the industry. We need to make sure that employees who are looking to develop a career in hospitality are aware of the opportunities on offer and the potential future career pathways available to them. I’m looking forward to hearing more views and working with my colleagues and UKHospitality to develop tangible asks for both industry and government.”
The Hospitality Workforce 2030 Commission, organised by UKHospitality, aims to promote understanding of the importance and potential of the UK’s hospitality sector and brings together a wide range of hospitality employers and All-Party Parliamentary Groups, along with other stakeholders, industry bodies and authorities, to deliver an employment foundation for the sector.
Michael Tomlinson MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole who will co-chair the next session said: “Today’s session highlighted the untapped potential of the hospitality industry. I’m looking forward to co-chairing the second session on the diversity of the workforce, which will help identify how we can offer further support and career opportunities for all those working in the hospitality sector.”
The second session on 12th June will focus on diversity of the workforce and will be co-chaired by Liz Saville Roberts MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG for Tourism and Hospitality Industry in Wales and Michael Tomlinson MP, Chair of the APPG on Youth Employment.
A written call for evidence and staff questionnaire are currently open to the public and close on Friday 25th May.