Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (381)

Robert Troy

Question:

381. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to meet the skills shortages in the hospitality and restaurant sector. [53774/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Government's Tourism Policy Statement "People, Place and Policy - Growing Tourism to 2025" recognises the key role that training and education plays in ensuring that there is an adequate supply of skilled staff in tourism and to develop talent accordingly.

In line with other sectors, education and training for the hospitality sector is primarily funded and delivered through the higher, further education and training bodies, namely, the Institutes of Technology, the Education and Training Boards with complementary training and business supports provided by Fáilte Ireland.

Fáilte Ireland's priorities within the tourism industry are for on-site practical training interventions to boost productivity and sustain employment.

Following the publication of the Hospitality Skills Oversight Group final report, Fáilte Ireland established a Tourism and Hospitality Oversight Group (COG) to co-ordinate the relevant bodies to agree and implement a work programme to address current and future labour supply and skill requirements in the Tourism and Hospitality sector.  Under the chairmanship of Fáilte Ireland members of this group have developed a two year work plan that focuses on delivery of five targeted objectives; improving awareness and attractiveness of the sector, building employment connections, best practice recruitment and retention, curriculum alignment and mapping existing provision to identify gaps.

With specific regard to chef training, Fáilte Ireland played a leading role in the development of a culinary apprenticeship programme through its participation in a consortium collaborating on its development. The Commis Chef Apprenticeship programme is currently being delivered by a number of Education and Training Boards throughout the country.

Fáilte Ireland has also completed some research to understand attitudes and perceptions of the sector and careers within the tourism and hospitality sector  which will inform promotional campaigns to drive a dynamic shift in perceptions of what a career in this sector can offer.

My Department is also represented on an cross-department working group on Work Permits under the remit of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and has assisted the industry in obtaining permits for certain grades of chefs.