Hospitality companies cut training to survive recession

Half of hospitality firms intend to cut training to reduce costs this year, a survey has found.

The ‘State of the Nation 2009’ survey by hospitality skills sector People 1st found that more than half (51%) expected to cut training as a result of the recession. One-third of the 1,300 businesses polled said they would seek funding support from Train to Gain, the government’s flagship skills brokerage service, despite rumours that the scheme has run out of funds for 2009-10.

Brian Wisdom, People 1st’s chief executive, warned that cutting training was a poor business strategy, particularly as the survey also found a fifth of all sector vacancies were hard to fill due to a lack of skilled applicants.

“Now more than ever it’s important that those entering the sector are equipped with the skills the industry needs,” he said. “Companies that grow their staff and provide good value for money without compromising on quality should be in pole position when the economy picks up.”

The hospitality industry also had a higher staff turnover rate than any other sector (31% in 2008), the survey found, with 17% of employers claiming the problem directly affected their business’s productivity.

Hospitality has been one of the sectors worst-hit by the recession, according to the Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply index released earlier this year.

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