How skills training can help your hospitality business stand out from the crowd and attract the best staff
Are you a restaurant owner? Venue manager? Travel and tourism specialist? As employers in the hospitality and leisure sectors battle the aftermath of Covid-19, juggle staff shortages and face industry pressures, we explain how business owners can unlock free training through the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme to give your company a competitive edge.
Through our work helping employers to access fully-funded training, we regularly talk to a number of businesses across the hospitality industry, which has shown us that one of the biggest challenges currently facing the sector is the skills shortage. As well as having limited access to workers with the required skills – such as customer service, team leading and food preparation – many hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants are competing with each other more than ever to fill vacancies.
There are a record 1.3 million job vacancies in the UK currently, with hospitality being one of the sectors suffering the most. Both Brexit and the pandemic caused workers to move out of the hospitality sector in search of more secure work, with some not just leaving the industry, but leaving the country altogether.
So, with all of these challenges to navigate, how can your hospitality business ensure that it is standing out from the crowd and attracting the best staff?
One option would be to increase salaries, but with the cost-of-living crisis meaning that many businesses are already struggling to make ends meet, this would be a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
Alternatively, you could offer more opportunities for promotion and personal development, meaning that many who might see working in hospitality as a temporary stop-gap may start to look at it as a viable career path.
However, we understand that many business owners currently feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, with reduced staff levels meaning some are having to cut down their opening hours, meaning that training might not necessarily be looked at as a priority.
Both time and money concerns are putting pressure on employers, but what’s the solution?
The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) Programme allows employers across the hospitality sector in York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and Tees Valley to offer staff training that is not only free, but can be fully-flexed around employee rotas and busy periods.
With courses available in areas including customer service, team leading, license holding, leadership and management, and marketing, the Programme seeks to futureproof your business by equipping staff with the skills that they need to not only perform their role well, but to progress and build their careers.
And when staff feel as though you are investing in their skills and development, they are more likely to feel a sense of loyalty to your business, rather than searching for work elsewhere.
Additionally, being able to offer prospective employees access to training and development can be a huge draw during the recruitment process, at a time when you might find yourself in stiff competition with other hospitality businesses to hire the best workers for the job.
Based on this, the top three courses we’d recommend if you’re a hospitality business looking to stand out from the crowd, and not only recruit – but retain – top talent, are:
- Award in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership Principles: This qualification helps aspiring managers or team leaders learn how effectively look after their teams, communicate efficiently and motivate colleagues to develop their own skills.
- Personal Licence Holding: This award helps you to understand the role and legal responsibilities of a licence holder, prohibitions on the sale of alcohol and the effects of alcohol on the human body. Holding this qualification also enables you to apply for a personal licence, meaning you can sell alcohol on a licensed premises.
- Food Allergen Awareness and Control: Completion of this qualification is designed to give food handlers the confidence and the knowledge needed to deal with allergens in the kitchen. The qualification also covers the importance of effectively communicating allergenic ingredients to customers and helps your back-of-house staff to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.