Caterer´s Hotelier of the Year Michael Gray has praised the Government's new diplomas for 14-19 year olds, heralding them as the potential solution to the industry's staffing crisis.
The diplomas will be available to students from September this year and are planned to cover 14 subject areas by 2009.
Each will act as a practical alternative to GCSEs and A-levels providing students with the opportunity to learn about a particular industry.
Gray, who is general manager of the Hyatt Regency Churchill, endorsed the diplomas during an evening of talks on how London is gearing up for the 2012 Olympics last week.
He said: "There is a terrific malaise in the hospitality industry, as the people working for us now are going home. They are very savvy, wonderful people and they have served our industry well but we need to inspire the next group of hoteliers.
The best news for the industry is the 14-19 diplomas that are starting to be taught in our schools. As of September 2009 hospitality will be offered as a diploma and young people will be able to gain a grounding in our industry."
Travelodge chief executive, Grant Hearn and member of the London Skills and Employment Board, concurred: "I would agree with Michael Gray's comments in that we need to modernise both qualifications and training in hospitality to bring the industry up to date. As employers we also need to take a fresh approach in attracting prospective employees so it is good to see another industry leader taking interest in the skills debate."
You can see Gray talking about diplomas and winning Hotelier of the Year on Caterersearch.
By Gemma Sharkey
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