The hospitality industry's skills shortage will only get worse unless the sector improves its working conditions, experts warned this week.
Talking at a forum held at London's Thames Valley University in Ealing, BaxterStorey chief executive Alistair Storey said the biggest issue for companies was finding skilled and motivated staff. He added: "We need to create a good employment environment and a global employment market and keep driving things like the minimum wage up."
Neal Young, director of gambling resort operator Gala Group, called on the Government to recognise the contribution made by the industry and back its efforts to increase the skills base.
Young, who is also a trustee of Sector Skills Council People 1st and director of Springboard, said: "The industry too often doesn't want to help itself. We need to develop basic skills and too many chefs don't know how to cook the basics."
Hotel consultant Melvin Gold added: "It's a big challenge. It's very difficult getting qualified staff. We need a minister of tourism who can take the industry and its issues seriously."