Our task is to ensure new skills and attitudes, the development of a training system that anticipates and responds to secure a world-class labour force in the Hospitality and Tourism sector. We aim to provide leadership to articulate the sector’s skills needs and to engage government, employers and training providers in meeting them and promoting the view that training is an investment, not a cost.
The Interim Council has three principal tasks:
• To win a mandate from the sector by setting out the role and functions of the SSCH and the benefits for employers and workers in the sector that can flow from its establishment. It has to position itself as a credible entity that will ‘add-value’ and help to ensure that the expansion of the hospitality sector is not constrained by a lack of skills and competent people;
• To prepare a business strategy, to set out an agenda for the SSCH and to consult employers and other stakeholders in the sector to win support for it;
• To determine how a representative and accountable SSCH will be established that will reflect the views of employers and other stakeholders about training priorities and how these can be met.
I am motivated by the daunting challenge we face in proving decent jobs for our growing, youthful population. By 2020, unemployment amongst 15-24 year olds is expected to reach 8.6 million. Put another way, we need to create 1.5 million jobs each year to provide opportunities for our young people. If we do this, the benefits – in terms of wealth creation and social cohesion – are immense. If we fail, there will be negative consequences. The generation of decent jobs and the acquisition of skills through quality training are inextricable linked and this is a challenge that government cannot meet on its own.
The Hospitality Sector appreciates this and I am excited by the vision of the SSCH and its ambitions. I pledge it my full support SSCH shall build the capacity and systems enable it in identify priority skills and addressing the mismatch between current supply of trained people and sector demands. The challenges are considerable, not least because we seek a change in attitudes, not only towards the design and delivery of training but also in developing partnerships between public and private sectors and to ensure that employers have a greater voice in all aspects of skills development policy and practice. The potential rewards from winning such changes are considerable