This comes as Lord Blunkett yesterday (Wednesday 26 October) released the Learning and Skills report, calling for a “transformational change in the investment” in the skills of British people.
Blunkett called for a new national taskforce to form a “revolution” in learning and skills, including a new apprenticeship and learning levy, applicable to large and small employers, trade union representatives Government officials and higher education staff, according to the report.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The recommendations in Lord Blunkett’s Learning and Skills report are very positive and echo much of what UKH has been calling for over many years, such as the introduction of an Apprenticeship and Learning Levy.
Culture of underinvestment
“There is a huge amount of work already happening within hospitality to invest in our people and correct the historical culture of underinvestment in skills and training in the UK.
“Initiatives recommended in the report such as a National Skills Taskforce, Individual Learning Accounts to share the cost of development and a Learning and Skills passport are all practical measures that could deliver great success.”
In the report, Blunkett called for a curriculum which could “adapt and evolve” with flexible apprenticeships in order to deliver quality jobs and fill large scale vacancies.
This comes as earlier this month UKH claimed unemployment levels stifled the sector’s “ability to drive growth”, with figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) having shown UK’s employment rate between June and August 2022 was 75.5% lower than the previous quarter.
Additionally, data from ONS earlier this year revealed job vacancies in the hospitality sector had risen by 34% with 129,000 empty roles between May and July last year.
However, Nicholls stated any new measures introduced should not “replace and duplicate” work already in place and advised there should be an assessment of Blunketts recommendations could be best implemented.
She added: “In addition to investing in the next generation’s skills, there are unprecedented vacancies in the sector now.
“There needs to be a dual approach from Government in addressing both the immediate needs of the sector and futureproofing to ensure we build sustainable solutions.”