The move is a substantial commitment from the trade body, as it positions skills policy development at the heart of its work. This new role will be critical to the delivery of their recently launched hospitality workforce strategy: fixing the crisis, which is a brilliant framework for collaborative action to address five key workforce challenges.
As the trade body representing the whole hospitality sector, this provides an opportunity for even greater employer involvement in creating the optimum route to a skilled workforce. The role will cover skills in secondary, further and higher education – with a renewed focus on apprenticeships and other in-work training.
UKHospitality will continue to work with industry partners, training providers and educational institutions to provide the perfect pathway for people of all ages to realise their ambitions to join and grow in hospitality. It will focus on short-term challenges but also look to fix the pathway into, and upwards, in hospitality for the long-term.
Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality said:
“Hospitality is facing a workforce crisis. We are determined to tackle this for the fantastic businesses in the sector and to provide fulfilling jobs that boost social mobility. I am delighted to welcome Sandra and her wealth of knowledge and experience to the team to drive this forward. This appointment allows us to look at the short-term opportunities to tackle our current labour crisis but also to ensure there is a pipeline of talent that ensures we have great people joining hospitality and experiencing the opportunities we can provide.”
Sandra Kelly, Skills Director, UKHospitality commented:
“Joining UKHospitality is a fantastic move for me and allows me to deliver on my passion – providing hospitality employees with the skills they need to succeed. I am thrilled to be able to bring a focus on skills policy development to UKHospitality and ensure the voice of our employer membership is central to setting this skills agenda with a united voice into Government.”
Sandra was previously the UK Director at People 1st International and has had nearly 30 years of operational and strategic experience across the hospitality sector.
UKHospitality will continue to work with People 1st International as the licensed Sector Skills Council for the industry, which will play a critical role in taking forward the skills measure outlined as one of five strands in the hospitality workforce strategy.
Jane Rexworthy, Executive Director, People 1st International comments:
“We congratulate Sandra on her new role and it’s fantastic to see this additional investment and recognition of skills as a critical part of the workforce agenda. The work People 1st International undertakes globally to identify skills needs, future proof occupational and apprenticeship standards and develop employer-led solutions means our expertise can underpin much of the delivery of the future framework for skills, which we look forward to developing in partnership with UKHospitality.”