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Tourism skills gap made key target

12 October 2005
Tourism skills gap made key target

Tourism minister James Purnell has made the hospitality industry's skills gap one of his key targets in office.

After a meeting with industry representatives yesterday (11 October), including Sector Skills Body People 1st and the British Hospitality Association, Purnell said: "I've made the skills agenda one of my top priorities."

The meeting was hailed as a first step in creating a new skills strategy for UK hospitality and tourism, boosting productivity in an industry worth £75b a year.

At the meeting, hospitality leaders revealed that staff turnover currently costs the industry £886m a year, a figure likely to hit £6.2b by the London Olympics in 2012 if no action is taken.

People 1st, which presented its Skills Needs analysis of the UK at the meeting, has been charged with producing a skills strategy for the sector by the minister.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive at People 1st, said: "People 1st look forward to working closely with business, government and education over the next 12 months to define a groundbreaking strategy."

By Chris Druce

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