Continuous professional development will remain vital as the jobs market recovers, says Institute of Hospitality chief executive Peter Ducker
This year the Institute of Hospitality celebrates its 75th anniversary. We trace our origins back to the Institutional Management Association (IMA), established in 1938, and the Hotel and Catering Institute (HCI) in 1949. Despite all the war-time deficiencies in equipment, furnishings and housing, our founders understood that the real solution to their many problems was education. Labour shortages and restrictions on foreign staff plus growing demand for holidays and entertainment in the post-war years meant hospitality had to rely on its own resources. The IMA and HCI quickly created qualifications to promote standards and increase professionalism.
This important work has never stopped. In recent years our collaborations with People 1st and the Master Innholders have resulted in brand-new programmes of study designed to meet the needs of today's industry.
We also continue to provide a vital service in accrediting academic courses to ensure they are relevant, and endorsing training. Recent endorsements include Arnold Fewell's Accessibility for All course, Concord Hotels management development programme and a range of online modules delivered by Flow Hospitality Training.
Accreditation and endorsement is conducted by an independent panel of academics and industry experts, giving students and learners confidence in their selection.
Training and development opportunities, underpinned by a caring and positive culture, enable companies to build loyalty and productivity. Active membership of the Institute also helps employees get on with their careers; research by London Economics shows that members of professional institutes earn on average 37% more than university graduates.
As the UK economy recovers and the workforce becomes more mobile again, hospitality must stay on top of its game to avoid damaging skills shortages. Research commissioned by People 1st shows that training spend on senior hospitality management has risen over the last four to five years. However, it has decreased for middle managers and frontline staff. Training budgets need to be spread more evenly to ensure they also reach frontline workers who are the most likely to stay loyal as a result.
We need to attract enthusiastic entrants, educate them well, plan their development, nurture them, motivate them, support them with career-long learning; give them a feeling of belonging and a sense of identity. Educators, employers, trade associations and individual managers all have a role and responsibility.
• The Institute of Hospitality's 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards take place at The Westbury, London, on 20 November 2013. To book, call 020 8661 4914 or go to www.instituteofhospitality.org