Hospitality industry blames educators for skills shortage

The hospitality industry is being failed by the UK’s education system, employers have warned.

According to a study by the Sector Skills Council, People 1st, 85 per cent of employers and trade associations in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sectors feel that schools do not adequately prepare people for the world of work.

 A further 72 per cent say that vocational qualifications are not fit for purpose.

Three quarters of those polled said the responsibility for addressing skills problems lies with businesses, government and learning establishments, with more than half – 54 per cent – wanting to see the industry’s key players brought together to tackle skills gaps.

Nearly one third of employers in the three sectors had skills gaps in their workforces, which affected their bottom lines, People 1st said.

And more than 12,000 job vacancies remained unfilled because of a lack of candidates with the skills needed to do the job.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, the Sector Skills Council representing the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries, said: “Employers in the sector are reporting that their staff lack the very skills which should form the basis of their businesses, such as customer care, communication and team working skills.

“We need to raise the game on skills across the industry.”

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