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Hospitality trade sets new millennium targets

An initiative designed to tackle staff training and to guarantee better customer service in the hospitality industry was launched last month.

Hospitality 2000 challenges the industry to devise targets to raise skill levels to help improve the competitiveness of the UK economy. The industry has set itself eight challenging targets to be accomplished by the end of the year 2000. Research has found that 74 per cent of part-time staff had received no training since leaving education. Only 18 per cent of employers were aware of the training services available.

David Harbourne, chief executive of the Hospitality Training Foundation, said: "Our research has shown that we are facing a period of tremendous growth and at the same time there is a massive training need as we tackle the problems of skills shortages within the industry. If the industry is to maintain its momentum and position as one of the largest UK employers (7 per cent of the total workforce) then it needs practical help and guidance.

"Employers already recognise that the industry faces recruitment difficulties and that the ratio of unfilled vacancies is higher than for any other industry. Using the targets will also help employers understand the value of maximising the potential of their staff to help take their business and the industry forward as a key player in the UK economy," he said.

There are more than 250,000 businesses in hospitality. The aim by the end of the year 2000 is that the industry will have: * 75 per cent of employers involved in the development of staff skills; * 75 per cent of employers evaluating and addressing training needs and planning appropriate activities each year; * 75 per cent of employers aware of the purpose and benefits of Investors in People, Modern Apprenticeships, national vocational qualifications or Scottish vocational qualifications; * at least half of employers offering such qualifications to staff; * 10,000 young people working towards a Modern Apprenticeship and 4,000 to have completed one; * 60 per cent of employees with relevant qualifications; * 1,000 organisations with Investors in People status; * 75 per cent of employers have forging links with education to promote the industry to young people.

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