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People 1st urged to show real progress

09 August 2007 by
People 1st urged to show real progress

Pressure is growing on People 1st to deliver more substance behind its ideas, after the industry's leading employer threatened to stop working with the Sector Skills Council for hospitality.

Compass, which employs more than 100,000 staff in the UK, said that, after a year in his role: "I have yet to see any tangible results from the work People 1st is doing."

He added: "We are currently reviewing whether we can continue to support People 1st to the extent that we have been, given these issues."

Such a move would prove particularly damaging for People 1st, as Compass has been heavily involved with its work to date. Compass HR director Mike Burton sits on the People 1st board and played a key role in developing the National Skills Strategy.

Other major hospitality employers called on People 1st to get more involved with the industry in its efforts to advance schemes such as the online Skills Passport.

Phil Hooper, corporate affairs director of contract caterer Sodexho, said: "Given the breadth of the sector, we believe that we need increased contact from People 1st] at senior level across the leading food service organisations. Everyone would agree that improving skills is vital, but clear communication of its strategy and plans is essential if companies are to be fully engaged."

Grant Hearn, chief executive of budget hotel chain Travelodge, said: "Travelodge has not had a great amount of dealings with the organisation, but we will be keen to see if there is real substance in terms of delivery of its plans."

David McHattie, chief operating officer of People 1st, said that he was surprised by Elâ€'Mokadem's comments, given its regular meetings with Compass executives to discuss strategy. He pointed to People 1st's work on the Government's Leitch skills report, the Skills Passport, the National Skills Academy and the sector's 14-19 diploma as examples of its work.

Elâ€'Mokadem met People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom last Friday to thrash out some of the issues raised. Nothing was decided at that time but the two sides have agreed to meet again in September.

Read more on the Editor's blog >>

Hospitality firms give skills pledge a cautious welcome >>

Hospitality fails to back skills initiative >>

Read more on skills here >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to [Daniel Thomas](mailto:daniel.thomas@rbi.co.uk?subject=People 1st urged to show real progress) here.

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