The UK's hospitality needs its own dedicated hospitality minister.
That's the message the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) will aim to send to the government today during its autumn conference.
Hospitality's status as the UK's third largest employer, and with Brexit providing uncertainty for employers and business costs rising, the ALMR said the time was right to appoint a dedicated minister for the sector.
Speaking at the conference, ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls will say: "UK businesses are facing an unprecedented period of political and economic instability. Uncertainty, chiefly prompted by Brexit, is undermining businesses' attempts to plan and invest and we need clear action from the Government to address this.
"The UK's hospitality sector is the third largest employer and incorporates a vast range of businesses and sub-sectors, not least of all the countries' resilient and innovative eating and drinking out businesses. These are the business that have driven growth in local economies in every part of the UK, creating 1 in 6 of all new jobs since the recession.
"These businesses are looking ahead with a sense of trepidation as we approach Brexit and costs continue to rise. Issues important to our members, and the wider sector, straddle a number of different government departments encompassing: employment, planning, taxation, food & drink, tourism and more. There is need for a national role to span these issues and ensure that crucial businesses are properly catered for.
"The government must show leadership and support for these vital employers by creating a new role of Hospitality Minister to ensure transparent and useful engagement with businesses and promotion of the sectors' interests. This will help promote a consolidated approach from both businesses and Government departments to help facilitate Brexit discussions and outcomes, and help inform the government's Industrial Strategy."
The ALMR's autumn conference will examine investment, costs, apprenticeships and the effect Brexit is having on businesses. New research will examine competitiveness and closing the productivity gap as well as future industry trends.
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