Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality

There isn’t a business within the hospitality industry that’s not affected by staff shortages. Organisations large and small are struggling to attract and retain the talent they need to help their business not only run effectively, but to grow. This isn’t a challenge that can be solved on a case-by-case basis, it’s an industry-wide problem that needs an industry-wide solution.

That’s why HIT Training is launching a revolutionary new campaign for 2019. Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality, aims to bring the industry together to champion the varied career opportunities available and implement practical solutions to lessen the skills shortage.

As part of this, HIT Training is calling on Levy-paying business in the hospitality sector to pledge to fund at least one apprenticeship outside of their company. The campaign launches as new research reveals that 65% of Levy-paying hospitality businesses are currently unaware they can transfer 10% of their funds to SMEs or charities in the sector (this will increase to 25% this year)[1].

With £1.28bn of unspent Levy funding in the UK and less than half of hospitality businesses which have used their Apprenticeship Levy[2], there’s an untapped opportunity to use this capital to tackle the skills shortage and protect the future of the sector.

The initiative is already gaining traction in the sector with a number of sector-leading companies signed up to the pledge and to support the campaign, including Bidfood, UKHospitality, the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) and The Springboard Charity.

To assist Levy-paying businesses, HIT Training has created a pledge portal where companies can commit their support to transfer a percentage of their Levy fund or download more information on how the Levy transfer process works. The expert team at HIT Training can also help form a partnership with an SME and oversee the process of taking both parties through the Levy transfer process, if required.

Speaking about the campaign, Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training, said: “Hospitality is one of the most vibrant and exciting sectors to work in, yet we continue to face multiple challenges when it comes to dispelling the outdated and negative perceptions of what a career in the industry entails. The year ahead is going to be a challenging one for everyone, so we need to do all that we can to protect our industry and provide aspirational career opportunities to the next generation of hospitality stars.

“That’s why we’ve launched the Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign. We want to bring the industry together to utilise its combined resources and support businesses of all shapes and sizes to provide high-quality development opportunities through apprenticeship programmes. Together, we have the power to make real change and protect the future of our industry.”

Tim Adams, Director of Marketing & Corp Sales at Bidfood, comments on why one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK is pledging a proportion of its Apprenticeship Levy to Springboard: “We’re delighted to be supporting Springboard’s training and development initiatives by pledging a proportion of our Apprenticeship Levy fund to the charity. Additional capital can make such a significant difference to training capabilities. In fact, the 10% of our Levy pot being transferred is enabling 15 of Springboard’s employees (41% of its workforce) to enrol on a range of apprenticeships, from enhancing the skills of line managers, to supporting business development and programme delivery managers across the organisation.

“Bidfood and Springboard have a longstanding relationship, and both share an ambition to successfully promote the foodservice and hospitality industry as a great place to work. The role training plays in achieving this is invaluable, not only by boosting the industry with greater skills, but by making it a more attractive career option by offering rich and meaningful development opportunities.

“That’s why Bidfood is behind HIT Training’s Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign and we encourage other Levy-paying businesses to make a pledge if they can. The impact training can have on other organisations and our industry is not to be missed out on.”

Peter Ducker, Chief Executive of the Institute of Hospitality, says: “This is a clever and effective solution to create a sustainable pool of hospitality professionals – our future managers and leaders – for the greater good of our growing industry. I congratulate the companies that have already pledged their support and encourage more to do the same. It is in all of our interests to invest in the large numbers of well-trained and motivated personnel that the UK hospitality sector will require going forward.”

The Apprenticeship Levy applies to all businesses with an annual PAYE bill of over £3m at the rate of 0.5% of their total pay bill. Businesses which fall under this threshold must pay 10% of the cost of apprenticeships, with the Government funding the remaining 90%.

For more information on the Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign or to pledge a percentage of your Apprenticeship Levy fund to the sector, please click here.

[1] Survey of 250 HR managers or senior figures working in hospitality. 3GEM in collaboration with HIT Training, November 2018.

[2] Survey of 250 HR managers or senior figures working in hospitality. 3GEM in collaboration with HIT Training, November 2018.

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