Hotelier of the Year Danny Pecorelli (pictured) has called upon his fellow operators to do everything in their powers to attract more talent into the industry.
"Who in this room can say they are currently filling all their vacancies?" Pecorelli, managing director of Exclusive Hotels and Resorts, asked the gathering of 400 diners at the London Hilton on Park Lane. "I doubt anyone can do that."
"Rather than fighting for the talent, we should all be focusing on attracting people into the industry with a view of keeping them long term."
In particular, Pecorelli spoke about the need for employers to support ventures such as the Edge Hotel School and colleges like South Downs, at a time when hospitality courses are declining.
"There are also many other initiatives which the industry should get behind, such as the Big Hospitality Conversation, 10 out of 10 training programme and modern apprenticeship schemes.
"Please do something to attract talent into our industry," he concluded. "If you are not doing anything, then shame on you."