More sector representation needed on T Level panel, says BBPA

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Support needed: A government panel representing the catering and hospitality industry in the development of T Levels has been dubbed unrepresentative of the sector.
Support needed: A government panel representing the catering and hospitality industry in the development of T Levels has been dubbed unrepresentative of the sector.

Related tags: Work experience, Bbpa

A government panel representing the catering and hospitality industry in the development of new further education qualifications has been described as unrepresentative of the sector.

Panels will develop the outline content for proposed T Level qualifications, the two-year technical courses for 16 to 19-year-olds.

Only four industry experts have been appointed​ so far, compared to dozens of individuals on other trade panels.

Industry chiefs criticised a total lack of pub industry representation on the panel, which has not appointed a chair yet.

The Government must help careers in the industry appear more attractive, according to Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller's and chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Promoting opportunities 

Emeny told attendees at the BBPA annual awards that T Levels were crucial to promoting the sector’s “amazing scope of opportunities”.

He warned that the image of pub careers needed to pass the “Mum and Dad test”, as the industry faces anxiety over a looming deficit of young workers​ and uncertainty​ over foreign workers.

Who is on the panel so far?

Johanna Keith, apprenticeship manager for Azzurri Restaurants

Robert Marshall-Slater, head of school for hospitality at Kendal College

Hugh Mantle, regional director of the National Federation of Fish Friers

James Welch, executive chef at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall

Emeny continued: “This must start with T-Levels. As usual catering and hospitality is at the back of the queue – we have one of the smallest groups on the panel setting the tone and pace for it and we have no representation from the pub sector.

“This must change. We can no longer wait for people to come to us for a career – we need to go out into schools, into colleges and into universities and start telling our stories.

The introduction of the catering qualification was delayed​ earlier this year, which trade body UKHospitality said would put employers on the back foot.

The Government said it was still searching for members of the panel.

A Department of Education spokesperson said: “We are actively looking to recruit more panel members to the Catering T Level panel board, and those interested with the necessary requirements should contact the department.”

Anyone who wants to express interest in joining the panel should contact rzcyblre.cnaryf@rqhpngvba.tbi.hx​.

Work experience

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA added: “The beer and pub industry offers a fantastic range of careers, especially for young people.

“T-levels are an important new qualification for 16 to 18-year-olds, with a requirement for work experience as part of the course, which is good for the hospitality sector, although we are in the second wave of T-levels from 2022.

"It is important that the T-level panels reflect the requirements of the pub sector and we need further support from the Government to ensure this happens."

Related topics: Legislation

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