20.09.2018
 
Mr John Halligan, TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development has launched the final report of the Hospitality Skills Oversight Group (HSOG).The HSOG was originally set up in 2016 for a two-year term arising from a recommendation of a 2015 Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) 
 
The EGFSN report assessed the skills demand needs arising within the Hospitality sector in Ireland – hotels, restaurants, bars, canteens and catering – over the period to 2020. The aim was to ensure that there would be enough skilled personnel to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth. The Report also highlighted that the challenge for industry was to provide appropriate training and upskilling to staff and to provide clear progression pathways for those who wish to make hospitality their career.
 
The hospitality sector is one of the largest employers in the Irish economy, employing over 177,000 people in over 18,000 businesses in 2018. In terms of overall economic activity, the Accommodation and Food Services sector accounts for around €5 billion of total gross value added in the Irish economy.
 
Mr John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development welcomed the report commenting “The Oversight Group has demonstrated that success can be achieved in addressing skills requirements when industry, education/training and other stakeholders work together on a collaborative basis. While all the solutions have not yet been arrived at by any means, this coordinated approach is working and I welcome the news that a new Group is being established to continue the work. As the report highlights, addressing the current skills shortfalls along with professionalising the sector is vital for economic growth. The hospitality sector makes a vital contribution to regional and local economies. It also provides employment opportunities that can facilitate greater labour market participation.”
 
Speaking at the launch of the HSOG Report, the Chair, Mr Michael Vaughan, said: “The formation of the Hospitality Skills Oversight Group has begun a collaborative process that will serve the hospitality industry in Ireland well in the coming years. During the period of the group’s existence some key developments have taken place that will continue to have an impact on the industry.”
 
The report notes:
The continued development and reform of the Education and Training Boards 
The introduction of the first state culinary apprenticeship in decades 
New traineeships 
The economic resurgence in tourism and exponentially growing visitor numbers 
The return to near full employment 
and
The opening of visas to non-EU nationals seeking to make a career in hospitality in Ireland.
 
Mr Michael Vaughan noted that there are challenges facing the industry. As the economy achieves full employment there is increasing competition for a diminishing labour pool. He noted that the hospitality sector has suffered from poor career perception in the past stating “The Irish Hotels Federation’s ‘Get a Life in Tourism’ is an example of a positive response to the challenges of attracting new entrants to the industry. The Careers Roadshow undertaken by the Irish Hotels Federation, Dublin Regional Skills in collaboration with the Tourism Insight partners demonstrates how effective collaboration can yield positive outcomes. Initiatives by colleges to host career fairs, out-reach to schools etc. are to be commended.”
Mr Paul Hayden, Head of Policy and Education at Fáilte Ireland commented “The Hospitality Skills Oversight Group made good progress on a number of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs recommendations. It is recognised that the successful development of skills for the Hospitality and Tourism sector requires an ongoing coordinated and collaborative approach by industry, education, training providers, and other relevant stakeholders. It is now timely for the key stakeholders to initiate a new plan that builds on the work of the Hospitality Skills Oversight Group and addresses the future skills requirements and growth of the sector, particularly in regional areas. In this context, and as the economy nears full employment, a new Hospitality and Tourism Career’s Oversight Group is being established to coordinate the relevant bodies to agree and implement a work programme to address current and future labour supply and skills requirements.” At the event, it was confirmed that a new Hospitality and Tourism Career’s Oversight Group is being established to continue the work already carried out by the HSOG.
 
The Hospitality Skills Oversight Group (HSOG) was established in 2016, for a period of two years, chaired by SOLAS in the first year and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) in its second. It was acknowledged that the successful development of skills for the Hospitality sector required a coordinated and collaborative approach by industry, education and training providers and other relevant stakeholders. The establishment of the HSOG was a priority recommendation of the 2015 Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) Report.   
 
RECOMMENDATIONS arising from the 2015 EGFSN Report:
Establish oversight group - high priority – ‘to lead and collaborate on the implementation of the recommendations in the report’.
Introduce targeted measures to address projected demand – chefs in particular – short to medium term – establish quality employer programmes (IHF), audit of culinary facilities, chef apprenticeships etc.
Improve alignment of hospitality-related education and training provision with the skills requirements of the hospitality sector. – 3 yearly reviews and utilisation of all hospitality and culinary courses, audit of facilities, industry engagement offices, increase FET provision, introduce short courses etc.
Greater investment by hospitality establishments in management and training (online hospitality training toolkits)
Promotion of the hospitality sector as a professional career choice
Tap into the Irish diaspora
Introduce recognised occupational standards
Utilise employment schemes
Enhance measures for the attraction and retention of qualified chefs (EU/EEA) area while implementing actions to increase domestic supply and retention of chefs.
 
The 2018 Hospitality Skills Oversight Group report notes:
The continued development and reform of the Education and Training Boards 
The introduction of the first state culinary apprenticeship in decades 
The new traineeships 
The development of Technical Universities 
The economic resurgence in tourism and exponentially growing visitor numbers 
The return to near full employment 
and
The opening of visas to non -EU nationals seeking to make a career in hospitality in Ireland.
 
Membership of the Group
The Group was formed in March 2016 and Membership of the Group included Fáilte Ireland, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI), the Department of Education and Skills (DES), the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), Higher Education Authority (HEA), the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI), the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), Regional Skills Dublin (RSD), the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), Skillnet Ireland, SOLAS and the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA).
Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN):Established in 1997, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) plays a key role in identifying current and future skills needs of enterprises, advising the Irish Government on these needs.  It has a central role in ensuring that labour market needs for skilled workers are anticipated and met. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation provides the EGFSN with research and secretariat support. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs provides advice to Government on skills issues impacting enterprise through:
Carries out research, analysis and horizon scanning in relation to emerging skills requirements at thematic and sectoral levels. Steering Groups comprising of experts from relevant enterprise sectors and the education and training sector may oversee sectoral research studies to be undertaken or commissioned by the EGFSN. Drawing on statistical input and analysis from the SLMRU and consultation with the enterprise/education experts as part of the study, draft reports setting out the projected needs are prepared by the EGFSN.
Engages with the HEA, SOLAS, QQI, the Regional Education Fora, education and training providers in the course of its research.
Engage with DES, HEA, SOLAS and other relevant bodies to produce agreed action plans to address the skills needs identified.
Submits the findings of its research and agreed Action Plans to the National Skills Council prior to publication.
Disseminates its findings to the Regional Skills Fora and other relevant groups.
 
 
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