The new role will cover skills in secondary, further, and higher education, with a renewed focus on apprenticeships and other in-work training, providing an opportunity for even greater employer involvement in the route to a skilled workforce.
UKH CEO Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality is facing a workforce crisis. We are determined to tackle this for the fantastic businesses in the sector and to provide fulfilling jobs that boost social mobility.
Pipeline of talent
“I am delighted to welcome Sandra and her wealth of knowledge and experience to the team to drive this forward.
“This appointment allows us to look at the short-term opportunities to tackle our current labour crisis but also to ensure there is a pipeline of talent that ensures we have great people joining hospitality and experiencing the opportunities we can provide.”
Kelly, previously the UK director at People 1st International, brings nearly 30 years of operational and strategic experience across the hospitality sector to the new role.
She said: “Joining UKH is a fantastic move for me and allows me to deliver on my passion – providing hospitality employees with the skills they need to succeed.
“I am thrilled to be able to bring a focus on skills policy development to UKH and ensure the voice of our employer membership is central to setting this skills agenda with a united voice into Government.”
UKH has pledged to continue to work with People 1st International, the industry licensed sector skills council, alongside industry partners, training providers and educational institutions, to take forward the skills measure outlined as one of five strands in the hospitality workforce strategy.
People 1st International executive director Jane Rexworthy said: "We congratulate Sandra on her new role and it’s fantastic to see this additional investment and recognition of skills as a critical part of the workforce agenda.
“The work People 1st International undertakes globally to identify skills needs, future proof occupational and apprenticeship standards and develop employer-led solutions means our expertise can underpin much of the delivery of the future framework for skills, which we look forward to developing in partnership with UKH.”