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Report on skills and apprenticeships launched by the APPG for the Visitor Economy

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Visitor Economy has launched a new report, on ‘Supporting Skills and Apprenticeships in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry’.   The report highlights core issues affecting apprenticeships in an industry that employs 4.5 million people. 

It outlines 14 recommendations, such as increasing the use of role models and ambassadors to tackle the ‘perception deficit’ that currently afflicts the industry and supporting SME’s by reducing Tourism VAT.  

A lack of language skills and chef shortages were highlighted in the report as well as concerns about the Apprenticeship Levy which is due to come into force next year.    

The APPG heard oral evidence from the former Minister for Skills Nick Boles MP, UKinbound, Springboard, People 1st, BHA, Jurys Inn and Whitbread PLC.  Written evidence was received from a variety of businesses including SMEs, training providers, further education bodies and trade organisations.   

Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid-Worcestershire & Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy, said: “It has been a great pleasure working with the industry on this report and we are delighted to have developed evidence-based recommendations for how we can better support apprenticeships and upskill workers in our society.  

“Improving the current methods of skills training in the UK will require the government and industry to work together to create feasible and sustainable measures that support hospitality and tourism for years to come.”  

Margaret Ritchie, MP for South Downs & Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy, said: “Hospitality and tourism is the fourth largest industry in the UK and currently employs 4.5 million people.  It was encouraging to hear from businesses that the industry allows promotion from the ‘kitchen floor’ to the most senior levels company management.   

“The recommendations in this report can be applied to other sectors and we look forward to working the Minister for Apprenticeships on next steps and seeking a Backbench Business Debate on the issue of apprenticeships in the hospitality industry.”  

The APPG for the Visitor Economy was established in 2015 to address a range of key issues facing the hospitality and tourism industry and how best to solve them.    

The group will now focusing on coastal communities and is due to hear evidence next week from Philip Walsh, Head of Visitor Economy at Blackpool Council, Graham Wason, Economic Advisor, Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT and Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive, Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.  

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