SERIOUS SHORTAGE OF CRAFT/ENTRY-LEVEL STAFF – Hoteliers say Government must do more to support craft-level training
- 75% of hotels and guesthouses report difficulties hiring suitably qualified craft-level staff
- 3,000 entry level positions needed every year in tourism sector
- Dedicated Tourism Training Unit required for hospitality training
Hotels and guesthouses are experiencing serious difficulties recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff, delegates at the Irish Hotels Federation’s (IHF) Annual Conference in Trim heard today. An industry survey conducted by the IHF this month show that three out of every four hotels and guesthouses (75%) have difficulties hiring trained workers to fill entry level positions within their businesses. This compares with 64% who reported difficulties this time last year.
Michael Vaughan, President states that the hotels sector faces a significant skills shortage at entry level that is getting progressively worse as the sector returns to growth. He says that a clear role exists for SOLAS and the local Education and Training Boards to help address this demand.
“We’re calling on the Government to mandate SOLAS to set up of a dedicated Hospitality Training Unit to bring hospitality training into main stream alongside other industries,” says Mr Vaughan. “We need a new model for apprenticeships in our sector and greater clarity on how future training requirements will be met. To be effective, this must involve greater collaboration with industry and better use of existing resources across Education and Training Boards, VECs and Institutes of Technology.”
Highlighting the success of pro-tourism initiatives such as the 9% VAT rate, Mr Vaughan says it is disappointing that the Government is not working more closely with the industry on employment training, particularly at FETAC levels 3 & 4.
“This is a missed opportunity to nurture the skills sets we need for the future. With unemployment at over 12%, our overriding objective must be getting people into the workforce and giving them an opportunity to develop their skills. This is particularly important for those aged under 25 years who are at risk of becoming long-term unemployed. Appropriate training would provide them with possibly their first work experience and a valuable stepping stone in their careers.”
Tourism Jobs Statistics
- Each year, tourism businesses such as hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, pubs and bars need to replace in excess of 3,000 craft-level workers to natural attrition alone.
- Following a return to growth in the sector, 67% of hoteliers plan to take on additional staff over the next 12 months.
- Since 2011, over 23,000 new jobs have been created in the food and accommodation sector.
- The tourism industry as a whole now supports almost 200,000 jobs – equivalent to 11% of total employment in the country, some 54,000 are in the hotels sector.