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Hospitality sector should maximise potential

Hospitality sector should maximise potential from opportunity to growReacting to the  People 1sts  State of the Nation 2010 report, the RECs Hospitality sector group is calling for the industry to seize the opportunity for growth to address the pressing issue of skills shortages in the sector.
REC Hospitality welcomes the forecast of 200,000 new jobs in hospitality, travel, leisure and tourism by 2017.  With big events coming up such as the World Cup starting next week then the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,  the industry is faced with a decade of opportunities to create a solid platform for the UK hospitality sector. 
The State of the Nation Report points out that five per cent of sector employers report having hard-to-fill vacancies and that 30 per cent of chef positions remain difficult to fill. Skill gaps within the workforce appear to be growing with more businesses reporting that they are employing people lacking the required skills. A total of 39 per cent of businesses who stated they had skills gaps in their workforce said that the management skills need improving, the report added.
Commenting on the State of the Nation report, Suzanne Letting, Chair of REC Hospitality, said today: These major events coming up in the next decade certainly present the hospitality sector with a rare opportunity. To maximise potential, we have to ensure we have a strategic plan to develop a committed, skilled and confident workforce. But the hard facts stated in this report remind us of the serious skill shortages the UK hospitality sector still faces in the run- up to these events.
On the ground, we have seen that employers are looking to boost the workforces in time for these big events.  We can expect a rise in demand for both bar staff and also requests for restaurant and hotel staff. However, we need to invest in the training and development of people wanting to make a career in this sector and make sure the necessary skills are available to secure a brighter future for our hospitality industry.


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