HOTELS PLAN SEEKS TO PROVIDE 3,000 PEOPLE A YEAR WITH ENTRY-LEVEL EMPLOYMENT
Hoteliers Frustrated at Lack of Government Support for Tourism Jobs Training
- Wasted opportunity with no action taken to date by Government to support plan
- 64% of hoteliers experiencing difficulty recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff
- Craft level training a valuable conduit to employment for jobseekers
Little or no progress has been made on the jobs training plan put forward last year by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) aimed at providing up to 3,000 people with entry-level employment in the sector each year, delegates at the IHF’s 75th annual conference in Killarney heard today. With 64% of hoteliers experiencing difficulty recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff*, IHF President Michael Vaughan expressed his frustration at the lack of engagement by the Government on a vital initiative aligned so closely with its national job creation strategy.
“At a time when hotels throughout the country are facing a shortage of trained entry-level workers, it’s disappointing that the Government isn’t working more closely with us on this issue,” says Mr Vaughan. “Our proposal would help stem the issue of long-term unemployment and provide young people, in particular, with possibly their first work experience and a valuable stepping stone in their careers. This would have an enormous impact, particularly in rural areas where fewer employment opportunities exist.”
Mr Vaughan states that the lack of trained staff is a direct result of Fáilte Ireland’s decision to stop providing this type of hospitality craft training (FETAC levels 3 & 4). He states the obvious solution would be for the Government to work with the sector and instruct the new further education and training authority SOLAS and local employment training boards to provide the required training courses to ensure a sustainable supply of trained workers to fill entry level positions.
“With unemployment at over 14%, our overriding objective must be job creation, getting people into the workforce and providing them an opportunity to develop their skills,” says Mr Vaughan. “It’s a year on since we proposed our jobs training initiative but unfortunately nothing has been achieved since then. Meanwhile, tourism businesses such as hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, pubs and bars need to replace in excess of 3,000 craft-level workers each year due to natural attrition alone.”
“Craft level training offers a valuable conduit to employment for young adults looking for work in today’s difficult jobs market,” says Mr Vaughan. “It’s now time for Ministers Ruairí Quinn and Richard Bruton to address our concerns and put in place a programme to meet our sectors future training requirements. It’s a wasted opportunity if we don’t act.”
Eoin Quinn/Siobhan Molloy
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