New workforce strategy launched

Trade body UKHospitality has launched a nationwide hospitality workforce strategy to boost recruitment and training for a new generation of skilled hospitality staff, with an aim of plugging the sector’s 170,000 jobs gap.

Entitled Fixing the crisis: a framework for collaborative action across the sector, the strategy examines all aspects of the industry’s labour needs, including recruitment, skills and training, people’s working lives, hospitality’s image as a sector in which to work and the infrastructure to support employees.

It comes as hospitality’s post-pandemic recovery contends with increased raw goods costs, huge energy bill rises, business rates, VAT back to 20%, plus a dip in consumer confidence due to the cost-of-living crisis. All of this is exacerbated by a crisis in employment across the economy, and in hospitality in particular. ONS data shows that vacancies now exceed unemployment for the first time.

“This strategy sets out a vision to ensure [hospitality is] fully-resourced with people with the right skills, a clear talent pipeline with established routes of progression and high levels of employee wellbeing," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. "It is based on a partnership approach with industry bodies and governments.”

Within its key areas the strategy examines critical issues such as professional standards, pay, the working environment, equality and diversity, future demand and digital connectivity.

Immediate next steps include delivering on the objectives of the strategy, engaging with industry and local partners, developing action plans for each measure, and a recruitment campaign. UKHospitality will also produce an annual report on the state of the hospitality workforce.

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