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EGFSN highlights future career opportunities in the Hospitality sector

Date: 12 November 2015 

Investing in skills will improve competitiveness and create jobs in the sector

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs today,12th November, published a new study on the future skills requirements of the Hospitality Sector. The objective of this study is to assess the skills demand needs arising within the Hospitality sector in Ireland – hotels, restaurants, bars, canteens and catering – over the period to 2020. The aim is to ensure that there will be the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth. The study assesses skills demand at all NFQ levels, with a particular focus on career progression opportunities for those at lower skilled levels to help fill anticipated job openings.

The Hospitality sector is one of the most important services sectors in the Irish economy. It directly employs 158,000 persons within 16,000 enterprises. This represents 8% of current economy-wide employment. The sector contributes €3 billion gross value added to the economy. It makes a valuable contribution to regional and local economies, and provides flexible employment opportunities that can facilitate greater labour market participation.

Launching the report, the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English T.D said: "While the Hospitality sector has potential for future growth, skill demand shortfalls are likely to continue to emerge in key occupations if action is not taken in the short to medium term. The level of success ultimately achieved in addressing skills requirements will be dependent on industry, education/training and other stakeholders working together on a collaborative basis. The recommendations made in the report of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs are designed to support the professionalisation of the sector and to contribute toward achieving national employment creation targets under the Government’s ‘Action Plan for Jobs’."

Speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring T.D also welcomed the report: "The jobs in the Hospitality sector, which forms a major part of the Tourism industry, encompass a wide range of roles, qualifications and skills and are geographically dispersed. This report is essential in terms of identifying a clear and coherent framework for the development of talent in the Hospitality sector in the years ahead. This will help drive both business and employment growth which is one the key goals of the Government’s Tourism Policy Statement – People, Place and Policy-Growing Tourism to 2025".

Chairperson of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), Una Halligan said "The Hospitality sector requires a skilled and professional workforce in order to deliver the highest standards of service. A recovery in the sector is leading to increased demand for employees of varying skill levels. A main challenge for the industry is to provide appropriate upskilling and reskilling for employees and clear career progression pathways for those that wish to make hospitality their career. Hospitality businesses should actively promote the career opportunities available at different levels to students, parents and jobseekers. There is also a need within businesses for improved hospitality talent attraction and retention practices. The sector offers attractive business opportunities to entrepreneurs".

The report Assessment of Future Skills Requirements in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland, 2015-2020 is available here