Hospitality and tourism employers should focus on staff retention to improve productivity, says report


I believe that the biggest part of the problem lies in the fact that these employees are not allowed to have any life outside of work. I am well aware that this industry invokes working on weekends & ...

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The hospitality and tourism industry should focus their attention on retaining staff and providing tailored training to reduce skill gaps and increase productivity, according to a report published today from the sector skills council for hospitality, travel, tourism and leisure industries, People 1st.

The, State of the nation, report shows that while staff turnover rates have fallen from 31% in 2009 to 20% in 2012, continuing to lose so many people from the sector is undermining the industry's investment in training.

The report revealed that 21% of employers are reporting skill gaps, the sector's productivity is being severely affected. The hospitality and tourism sector is highly intensive when compared to output, so staff skills gaps hamper its success.

The report surveyed more than 2,000 employers from across the hospitality and tourism sector to analyse current labour market trends, skills and education and training needs.

Its release coincides with today's Office of National Statistic (ONS) figures, which show there are 2.7 million people employed in the UK tourism industry. Of these, one million are part-time jobs and 185,000 are second jobs.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said that the sector will face significant pressure in the future as the skills needs predicted to grow are already in short supply.

"Our employers are already saying that many of their staff lack the necessary customer service and management and leadership skills, so as the need for these particular skills grows, the situation could definitely get a lot worse," said Wisdom.

"A lot of effort has gone into attracting people into the industry, but this shows that what we really need to do is place much more emphasis on making sure that the staff we already have in the industry are retained and given the training they need."

Wisdom added: "As the economy picks up and we face recruitment competition from other industries, ensuring our staff have the right skills is going to be hugely important."

The research shows that in addition to retaining staff in the hospitality and tourism workforce, providing the right training and development opportunities for individuals is also imperative.

The report also shows that employers believe management and leadership skills (69%), the need to address sustainability issues (58%), and effective use of social media (48%) will have significant influence on the sector in the future.

These changes are influencing the way customers perceive value and what they want from services, as they are able to compare information more easily and get better deals. The report shows that this is leading to an increase in competition and a real focus on the customer experience.

"This latest research shows that we are in a fantastic position to have a huge impact on the UK economy in the forthcoming years, provided we are able to adapt to the needs of our customers," said Wisdom.

He added: "Naturally, we need to make sure our people have the skills to meet these customer expectations and adapt to changes in the future, but there is significant potential for us to contribute massively to the country's continued recovery."


I believe that the biggest part of the problem lies in the fact that these employees are not allowed to have any life outside of work. I am well aware that this industry invokes working on weekends & holidays however employees should not have to work every one of them. Hospitals operate 365 days of the year 24 hrs a day and yet nurses get every other weekend and usually alternating holidays off. If the hospitality industry ran a similar schedule I bet retention would improve dramatically!!!! It is impossible to run a place of business with a high level of success when your employees are miserable!

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