Hospitality industry should be at ‘front of queue’ for new T level qualifications- ALMR

Kate Nicholls
12/02/2018 - 07:00
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has stated its support for the principle of the new T level qualifications in a submission to a Department for Education consultation.

Chief executive of the group Kate Nicholls said the qualification would present a welcome alternative to apprenticeships and A levels but added that the hospitality sector should be at the front of the queue when implementations begin.

The new full-time, industry-specific qualifications, which aim to make it easier for young people to find work, are currently set to be introduced for the catering and hospitality sectors in 2022.

The first tranche of T levels are scheduled to be rolled out two years earlier in 2020.

“The Government is taking a sensible and considered approach to a crucial issue affecting the eating and drinking out sector,” said Nicholls.

“However, staffing and skills shortage in our hospitality is so acute that it really must be among those areas addressed in the very first round of implementation

“The potential of these measures will otherwise be lost, as we fall further behind and our shortages worsen. Eating and drinking out is at the forefront of job creation in the UK and is taking on apprenticeships and upskilling its staff, but is still treading water in terms of filling vacancies.”

Nicholls’s views differ from those of training and education consultancy, People 1st, which said the extra two years would enable employers and colleges to "learn and prepare".

According to estimations from People 1st, the hospitality sector needs an additional 1.3 million staff by 2024.

“The T levels have the potential to revolutionise our sector’s workforce and help to introduce young workers to an exciting career which can be diverse and rewarding in so many ways,” added Nicholls.

“The ALMR will continue to engage with the Government to ensure that jobs in pubs, bars and restaurants are given equal footing. These proposals could provide the vehicles that our sector needs to improve the public perceptions about careers in hospitality and to open people’s eyes to the wonderful opportunities that a career in the sector can provide.”

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