A new employer commitment called "Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment" has been launched by hospitality and tourism operators in Northern Ireland.
In a statement published on its website, Tourism NI said, "A new employer commitment has been launched 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.
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"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."
HATS Chair Statement
In a statement also published on Tourism NI's website, HATS chair Ciaran O'Neill 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."
HATS Executive Member And Titanic Belfast CEO statement
In another statement published on Tourism NI's website, member of the HATS executive and Titanic Belfast CEO Judith Owens said, "'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."
Tourism NI Director Of Strategic Development Statement
In an additional statement published on Tourism NI's website, Tourism NI director of strategic development David Roberts said, "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 Information
Tourism NI added, "Sign up to 'Our Hospitality and Tourism Commitment' today, by visiting" https://people1st.co.uk/insights-resources/industry-led-strategies/hospitality-tourism-skills-(hats)-network/hats-sign-up/.
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