Tourism and hospitality businesses address skills gaps within the industry

On Monday (2nd October) Marketing Lancashire in partnership with the Lancashire Skills & Employment Hub hosted the Lancashire Tourism & Hospitality Skills & Employment Forum with over 50 industry colleagues in attendance at Brockholes Conference Centre.

Lancashire’s Visitor Economy Strategy, adopted by Marketing Lancashire and sector partners, aims to help tourism businesses grow and to generate a further 5,000 new tourism and hospitality jobs by 2020. To achieve this the county must recruit, retain, and attract the best talent for the industry.

The county currently welcomes over 67 million visitors annually, in turn this generates £4.1bn of visitor spending and supports over 59,000 jobs in tourism and hospitality (1 in 10 local jobs).

The forum addressed the current skills and employment issues affecting tourism and hospitality businesses; raised awareness of the existing support for the sector; explored how to attract, inspire and develop current employees and how to tackle further concerns around skills and employment gaps with potential solutions for the future.

With speakers including: Lindsay Campbell, Director, Campbell & Rowley; Katie Mellor, Sales & Operations Director, Cummins Mellor Chefs Jobs UK Team; Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director, Lancashire Skills Hub and Justina Ma, Business Manager, Marketing Lancashire.

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director of Lancashire Skills Hub commented,

“The purpose of the event was to initiate a ‘skills conversation’ with local Visitor Economy businesses and education providers to help us to understand current skills and employment issues in the sector, whilst also ensuring that businesses were aware of the support currently available.  The feedback from attendees was extremely useful – there was lots of interest from the businesses present in the Enterprise Adviser Network and funded training provision, as well as the messages conveyed by our two business presenters who shared best practice in relation to valuing and retaining staff.

Michelle continued, “The two key issues that emerged were communication – in terms of getting the messages out to businesses about the support available, and encouraging young people to consider the breadth of careers opportunities available to them in the sector.”

Tourism and Hospitality businesses interested in support provided by the Lancashire Skills & Employment Hub should contact LancsSkillsHub@lancashirelep.co.uk.

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