Hospitality employers in England will be able to get their hands on a share of £112m for training staff after the Government agreed a deal to simplify access to its Train to Gain scheme.
The Government has committed to investing more than a £1bn a year by 2010 into Train to Gain, but employer take-up has been patchy and it emerged last week that £115m of funding was unused and had to be transferred to other skills schemes.
The Government has now agreed a deal - known as a compact - with Sector Skills Council for hospitality People 1st. It will provide funding for relevant qualifications and some short courses, a sector specific Train to Gain scheme and a simpler definition for how the industry's 180,000 businesses can achieve funded training.
The funding, which is separate to the £100m industry is receiving to fund the National Skills Academy, was welcomed by People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom
"In an environment of rising costs, the most enlightened employers are even more committed to investing in the skills of their people improving the customer experience and profits," he said. "This deal shows that government are dedicated to investing in the areas most critical to industry."
Skills minister John Denham added: "The Government values the immense contribution the hospitality, leisure and travel and tourism industries make to our national life, and is committed to working closely with the sector to help it attract, train and retain quality staff.
"This compact will ensure that employers will have access to flexible, world-class training tailored to the specific needs of their business, delivered when and where they need it."
By Daniel Thomas
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