General Industry

New Skills Programmes Announced For The Hospitality And Tourism Sectors

By Dave Simpson
New Skills Programmes Announced For The Hospitality And Tourism Sectors

Minister for further and higher education, research, innovation and science Simon Harris and minister of state for skills Niall Collins have announced two new skills programmes to assist the hospitality and tourism sectors with COVID-19 challenges and ensure that they are ready for the eventual reopening of the sectors.

The programmes have been developed by SOLAS and the education and training boards in consultation with the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and Fáilte Ireland.

The purpose of one of the two new programmes is to develop team leaders.

The purpose of the other of the two programmes is to develop supervisory management capability.

Both of the so-called Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism programmes aim to assist recovery and growth in the hospitality and tourism sectors.


As a major employer in Ireland, the hospitality and tourism sectors have identified the need to retain key talent and develop leadership that is capability of rejuvenating businesses for recovery and growth.

The Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism programmes will upskill team leaders and supervisory staff in critical areas including finance and people management. Employees will be trained in customer care, digital skills, communications, strategic planning and management, and will learn green and sustainability skills.

The upskilling opportunities will be rolled out across the country from March, and have already begun in Limerick, with 30 people participating.

Both programmes are free of charge.

"The Hospitality And Tourism Sectors Are Vital To The Irish Economy"

Harris stated, "COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our economy, and the hospitality sector has been badly impacted.


"The sector has temporarily had to close, and I want to ensure we use this time to support the sector in preparing for when they can resume business. The hospitality and tourism sectors are vital to the Irish economy and we must support it to recover and grow."

"A Really Exciting Opportunity"

Collins commented, "This is a really exciting opportunity for people who have temporarily lost their jobs to learn new skills and prepare for the return of their sectors.

"We need our tourism and hospitality sectors to be ready for the challenges post-COVID and to ensure they can remain sustainable in the future."

"Very Welcome And Timely Initiative"

Meanwhile, IHF president Elaina Fitzgerald Kane said, "I would like to commend SOLAS and the education and training boards throughout the country for this Skills to Advance initiative. It is a very opportune time for increased cooperation between hotels and ETBs to deliver training and upskilling support to their teams during these challenging times.

"Our primary goals are to protect and restore livelihoods in our hotel, guesthouse and broader tourism community across the country. These two hospitality training programmes are very relevant and support the development of the leadership and management skillsets required to recover and grow tourism in Ireland sustainably. My industry colleagues and I look forward to collaborating and working in partnership on this very welcome and timely initiative."


"Committed To Upskilling And Reskilling Employees"

SOLAS CEO Andrew Brownlee added, "The further education and training sector is committed to upskilling and reskilling employees across all industries, particularly those who are facing challenges or undergoing changes. These programmes are coming on stream at a time of unprecedented challenges for the hospitality and tourism sector and are designed in response to their needs. The excellent collaboration between the FET sector and industry bodies has meant that these programmes were developed in a short time period and with specific industry needs in mind. It is a great example of how the FET sector can work with employers to future proof their workforces."

Further details about the programmes can be found at

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.