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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