ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls will call for the new role at the organisation’s annual autumn conference today, arguing that hospitality is the UK’s third-largest employer. This new minister would be in addition to the current pubs minister role.
“UK businesses are facing an unprecedented period of political and economic instability. Uncertainty, chiefly prompted by Brexit, is undermining businesses’ attempts to plan and invest and we need clear action from the Government to address this,” said Nicholls.
Sense of trepidation
“The UK’s hospitality sector is the third largest employer and incorporates a vast range of businesses and sub-sectors, not least of all the countries’ resilient and innovative eating- and drinking-out businesses. These are the businesses that have driven growth in local economies in every part of the UK, creating one in six of all new jobs since the recession.”
She argued that these businesses were looking ahead with a sense of “trepidation”.
Issues that affect the sector cover a number of different Government departments encompassing: employment, planning, taxation, food and drink, and tourism.
“There is need for a national role to span these issues and ensure that crucial businesses are properly catered for,” she added.
“The Government must show leadership and support for these vital employers by creating a new role of hospitality minister to ensure transparent and useful engagement with businesses and promotion of the sector’s interests.
“This will help promote a consolidated approach from both businesses and Government departments to help facilitate Brexit discussions and outcomes, and help inform the Government’s industrial strategy.”
Delegates from across the eating and drinking out sector will hear from industry experts at the conference today on investment, costs, apprenticeships and the effect Brexit is having on businesses.