Hospitality training needed for businesses to retain staff

Skills council People 1st has warned hospitality businesses that they need to train their staff if they want employees to keep working for them.

In its fourth ‘State of the Nation’ report, which looks at labour patterns across the UK industry, figures reveal that 21 per cent of the sampled companies suggested that there were skills gaps. This is comparable to the overall average of 13 per cent across all businesses in the UK.

Furthermore, 88 per cent of individuals believed that customer service skills, for example, would become vital within the next five years. Other important sectors included leadership skills at 69 per cent, sustainability at 58 per cent, and social media at 48 per cent.

Turnover rates among staff may have fallen by 11 per cent in the past three years, but experts still argue that staff retention is still a major problem for businesses.

People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom said: “Our employers are already saying that many of their staff lack the necessary customer service and management and leadership skills, so as the need for these particular skills grows, the situation could definitely get a lot worse.”

“A lot of effort has gone into attracting people into the industry, but this shows that what we really need to do is place much more emphasis on making sure that the staff we already have in the industry are retained and given the training they need.”

If current staffs are not trained to management levels, this may be a stumbling block to providing the 600,000 new hospitality jobs that have been proposed by the government by 2020. The report revealed that only 41 per cent of the 2,000 companies sampled offered training in the last year, whilst 36 per cent offered training but only for individual needs rather than umbrella sessions.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.