Hospitality skills academy gets green light

07 May 2008 by
Hospitality skills academy gets green light

The National Skills Academy for Hospitality has been given the green light after the bid was approved by the Government this week.

The announcement means that more than £100m of government funding will be spent on developing talent for hospitality employers.

An estimated 65,000 learners are expected to pass through Academy approved programmes in the next five years, according to sector skills council People 1st, which co-ordinated the bid.

Skills minister David Lammy said: "Hospitality is a vibrant and dynamic industry that plays a key and growing role in the success of the UK.

"This new Academy will not only help the industry stay competitive, but will enable thousands of people to gain the skills and confidence to build successful and rewarding careers."

People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom added: "The news is a welcome tonic for our industries which face many competitive pressures. The bid has enjoyed the phenomenal support of a large number of leading employers, responsible for over 20% of the sector's staff, and we look forward to welcoming the first students as early as this September."

Under the plans for the Academy, hotel and restaurant schools will be established in major cities, designed to run on a commercial basis while recruiting and developing learners, and joined by colleges serving the hospitality industry.

Barceló Hotels, Compass Group, Terry Laybourne and the Edge Foundation are investing more than £14m between them to develop these facilities.

Meanwhile, InterContinental Hotels, McDonald's, Premier Inn, Paramount Restaurants, Sodexo, De Vere, Accor, Aramark and a number of London hoteliers have united to develop a Virtual Hotel Academy in the capital.

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By Daniel Thomas

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