The Skills Summit, hosted by Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening, was supported by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and brought together leading employers representing more than 3.5m UK employees, to help spearhead a major skills reform programme.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A proactive approach from the Government to identify and promote skills within the UK workforce is very welcome. This issue is particularly important as we approach the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and the Government and businesses begin to assess what the UK’s workforce is going to look like.
“Eating and drinking-out businesses employ skilled staff in a variety of roles, especially chefs. The sector has evolved enormously over recent years, with a greater emphasis than ever on food. Food-led businesses have helped revitalise high streets over recent years and this renaissance must not be allowed to falter.
“Industry stats show that the hospitality sector needs to employ 200,000 people just to keep pace, and projected growth of 5.5% by 2020 will require an additional 23,000 jobs, many of whom will need to be skilled.
“This strategy must take into account the skills that are being deployed and developed in the eating and drinking-out sector, particularly chefs. The Government needs to ensure that eating and drinking-out employers are included within this strategy and that support for encouraging skills extends to our sector.”
The summit builds upon pledges to invest heavily in skills made in Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget, which included an extra £20m for colleges to build the workforce and deliver new T-level qualifications.