David Field, managing director, Nestlé FoodServices, asks "Who will tackle the increasing skills gaps in the hospitality industry?"
We have heard from the media of the slow uptake across our industry this month of the Government's eagerly-awaited skills pledge, which places the onus on organisations' to offer Level 2 hospitality training to all employees by 2010.
It's disappointing to see that, so far, just five out of 157 hospitality employers have signed up to the pledge.
Now, more than ever, we need to work together to develop skills and standards across the sector. In this way, we'll be promoting hospitality as a promising career option for talented young Brits. And for this, we're all accountable.
Overall, as an industry, I believe we're doing much to proactively motivate, train and develop vocational skills. There are already excellent support organisations in place; not least the British Hospitality Association, which under Bob Cotton's guidance truly represents the best interests of the industry in pushing for continued growth, learning and skills development.
Training, inspiring and developing skills is a task we should all be embracing from the inside-out. For our part, we're taking education and training very seriously. I'm proud to say that we are entering the 20th year of our own Nestlé Toque d'Or student catering competition. For us, this is real proof of the determination that UK catering college students have in improving their own skill base and desire to succeed. It's inspirational.
Again, our involvement in Springboard's FutureChef and LACA's School Chef of the Year, designed to raise standards and skills in school catering from both sides of the servery, hopefully goes some way in demonstrating our commitment to skill development.
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