The Government has been urged to show its support for hospitality through measures to counter negative perceptions of a career in the sector and raise awareness of the opportunities.

The Government has been urged to show its support for hospitality through measures to counter negative perceptions of a career in the sector and raise awareness of the opportunities.

The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 report sets out nine recommendations aimed at boosting employment and retention across the sector.

They include a call for an urgent review into the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy and an increase in the transfer fund cap to 50%. The report also urges the Government to better promote and value the benefits and transferability of ‘soft skills’.

In addition, UKHospitality, which commissioned the report is urging the Chancellor to increase the threshold for employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) from £6,000 to £12,000 to stimulate greater recruitment and cut business costs.

The report follows a select committee-style series of Parliamentary evidence sessions scrutinising the challenges and opportunities being faced by employers, which heard from industry leaders, employees and MPs. A call for evidence resulted in 50 organisations and individuals contributing to the final report.

It resulted in nine recommendations to Government –

Recruitment and retention

• A cross-industry, national campaign to eliminate negative perceptions of hospitality careers

• DWP/industry collaboration to showcase careers information and the ‘best face of the

industry’

• Adapt schools outreach to enable direct dialogue between hospitality businesses and students

Skills and workplace learning

• Industry to attract and retain employees via lifelong learning and on-the-job training

• Government should promote and value the benefits and transferability of ‘soft skills’

• Conduct an urgent review of the effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Levy, increase the

transfer fund cap to 50% and tackle the costs of off-the-job training

Diversity

• Immigration policy must be evidenced-based, tailored to hospitality workforce needs

• Industry to achieve greater workforce diversity best practice through employment contract flexibility

• Government support for workforce upskilling to encourage older and ‘harder to place’ workers into the sector, or back into employment

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The UK’s hospitality sector is a resilient and inventive one. It has helped provide growth, jobs and investment in every region and has been vital for the regeneration of UK high streets following turbulent economic periods. However, without Government support and immediate action on escalating employment costs, hospitality businesses will struggle to continue to provide these opportunities for people throughout the economic cycle.

“The recommendations in this report map a path to a post-Brexit hospitality workforce. It is recognised that free movement in its current form will end, and it is critical that Government supports the sector in promoting itself to young people and providing the framework for improved career development. The full potential of the sector will only be realised with positive action from the Government to ensure this is achievable.

“The Hospitality Workforce Commission 2030 exhaustively examined the opportunities and challenges that our sector faces and actions to be taken. If acted upon these will enable us to provide even greater investment, and provide more jobs, in communities across the UK. Implementing the recommendations will allow us to more effectively provide careers and opportunities, particularly for harder-to-place workers, and help the Government hit its apprenticeship target. With political and economic instability in the aftermath of Brexit, this is too good an opportunity for the Government to miss.

“I thank everyone who gave their time to contribute to this comprehensive investigation and I sincerely hope the Government acts upon our recommendations.”

To see the full report, click here