Written Answers. - Tourism Employment.

Michael Ring

Question:

855 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation his views on whether there is a shortfall of staff in the hotel and catering industry; and the plans, if any, he has to rectify this situation. [1410/99]

The CERT employment survey of the tourism industry 1998 indicated about 4,000 vacancies in the hotel sector, and confirmed that unprecedented levels of expansion in the number of tourism and hospitality businesses was contributing to staff shortages.

In the light of these findings, increased co-operation in recent times between industry bodies such as the Irish Hotels Federation and the Restaurants Association of Ireland and CERT to tackle recruitment and labour shortages is most welcome. Out of this has emerged initiatives such as the National Tourism Careers Roadshow, which CERT, in conjunction with the industry, has taken to almost 40 locations countrywide. This intensive recruitment campaign will alert school leavers, those seeking employment and those wishing to return to the workforce to the benefits of a career in tourism. CERT has also run other programmes, such as media campaigns and school promotions to attract new recruits to the industry.