​Time to fast track hospitality careers?

We read with interest ‘Skills and Productivity’ a new report out this week from People 1st which points out that the hospitality and tourism sector is a major employer continuing to experience significant growth.

But it also stresses that staff lack the sufficient skills to meet business needs. Low pay, high recruitment turnover, lack of time and seasonality all work against retention and career progression.

Here at the NCTA, we have our minds particularly focused on this having recently won funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to address this very issue.

Using a cluster of independently owned three-star hotels in Bournemouth, we’re testing the ‘service-profit-chain’ concept - if staff feel valued and involved in the business, they’re more likely to offer better service which leads to happier customers who, in turn, are more likely to return and tell their friends, resulting in higher repeat and increased business - and a healthier balance sheet for the business. Click here to read more.

The Skills and Productivity report also suggests that staff engagement helps retention; our project will be looking at perceived levels of engagement from the employees’ point of view to highlight gaps.

The People 1st report notes the link between promoting career progression pathways to the existing workforce and training and development opportunities. In our UKCES Fast Track project, we’re providing management training and inspirational master classes showcasing the success stories from those who’ve ‘made it’ in the industry to inspire hospitality staff – chefs, waiters, sommeliers, bar tenders and many more.

Let’s hope in the near future People 1st will be able to report that tourism staff believe they have a rewarding career, with the chance to progress fast and contribute to the financial success of the businesses in which they work.

By Lindsay Smith