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‘Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment’ launches to help secure future talent and show that industry is changing for the better

13 September 2021

A new employer commitment has been launched in Northern Ireland today by leading hospitality and tourism operators in an endeavour to change the wider perception of the sector and commit industry to work together and become an ‘employer of choice’, providing good quality training, work-life balance and support to their people.

Recruiting and retaining people has long been a challenge for the hospitality and tourism industry. The sector faces a number of misconceptions, such as low pay, long unsociable hours, limited opportunities to develop and not offering long-term careers.  

Compounding this challenge is the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on the labour market, which means the industry is competing for talent in a smaller pool so businesses need to be highly effective and flexible in how they attract, engage and interact with their teams.

'Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment' - a voluntary code of conduct developed by leading employers, colleges and industry partners - is being launched today by the Hospitality and Tourism Skills network [HATS]; an employer-led collaboration supported by Invest NI; in an attempt to combat these challenges. The ‘commitment’ covers critical areas, such as working hours and learning and development as well as a pledge to work collectively to promote the industry as a rewarding career choice.

Ciaran O’Neill, chair of HATS said:

“Many hospitality and tourism businesses are making fundamental changes to offer a different and better quality job experience. However, attempts to change the wider perception of the industry and to show that it is changing for the better can only be done if industry works together and commits to being an ‘employer of choice’, providing good quality training, work-life balance and support to their people.”

Judith Owens, member of the HATS executive and CEO of Titanic Belfast added:

“Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment is critical if we want to retain people in the industry. Work life balance, development and wellbeing support are basic needs that all people require today. These have to be part of the day-to-day ways of working if we want to ensure we retain talent today and for tomorrow.”

David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development Tourism NI, welcomed the initiative:

“I commend today’s launch of a voluntary code of conduct for the tourism and hospitality industry which will boost the message that the sector is a positive career choice.  Attracting and building a skilled and sustainable workforce is key to ensuring that tourism can recover and return to the levels of success achieved in the years up to 2019.” 

Sign up to ‘Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment’ today, by visiting HATS - Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment

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