With recent reports on the creation of a large number of new jobs in the hospitality sector, the REC’s Hospitality sector group is now urging the UK to ensure that workers are adequatley skilled to fill these new job positions

The concern over the  finding skilled employees follows Intercontinental Hotels Group’s announcement of plans2 yo creating 3,000 jobs through the construction of 37 new hotels – an investment of around £500 million -with ten hotels in London including two in the 2012 Olympic Village.

Commenting on the development, Suzanne Letting, Chair of REC Hospitality, said:

“This is a very positive move that confirms the challenging, but exciting times ahead for the UK hospitality industry.

“With all the big events lined up, especially the 2012 Olympics, demand for staff is expected to rise. As a consequence, demand for skills that we already find difficult to fill such as Chefs, is likely rise. Now is the time to take decisive steps to address the major issue of skills shortages in order for the hospitality sector to seize this unique opportunity.

“While we all understand the need to upskill our workforce, especially the young jobseekers, and build better bridges into the world of work, the ongoing skills shortages in our sector cannot be rectified overnight. In order to meet business needs and secure the sector’s recovery, we need to be able to attract the right level of talent from overseas.”

She added:

“We urge the Government to focus on getting the training, skills and employment policies right, rather than focusing on restricting the influx of necessary talent in the economy. If we get these policies right, the need for international talent will naturally lessen.  Frontline recruiters have a in-depth knowledge of the jobs market and can contribute to the debate.”