Hospitality employers urged to bid for slice of £150m Employer Ownership Fund

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Apprenticeship, Employment, Vocational education

Up for grabs: Funding from the Employer Ownership initiative could be just what the hospitality industry needs
Up for grabs: Funding from the Employer Ownership initiative could be just what the hospitality industry needs
Hospitality skills organisation People 1st is urging industry employers across the country to make use of a new £150m Government fund which offers financial support to develop and deliver their own training solutions to grow businesses. 

The Employer Ownership Fund has been developed in a bid to transform recruitment and training, particularly through apprenticeships. The Government is therefore encouraging strong collaborative bids from industries that show they have a major impact when it comes to filing vacancies and addressing skills gaps.

It is the second round of the Employer Ownership Pilot, which is already giving nearly £70m to companies including Whitbread, with projects ranging from extending skills training to local suppliers to doubling the number of female apprentices.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said that the organisation will draw on its knowledge, experience and considerable success in gaining government funding to support practical solutions that address the hospitality industry’s needs.

“We need to show that as a sector we play a significant role in supporting the economy as we will be competing with other sectors where the Government is promoting growth,” he said.

Challenging perceptions

“We have a fantastic opportunity to compete successfully given our industries employ one in five people in the UK economy; however we need to challenge the consistent perception that we offer low skilled and low paid work.”

The focus on promoting apprenticeships within the Employer Ownership Fund places People 1st in a unique position to help employers gain access to money directly and choose how apprenticeships are delivered in their organisation.

“The Government’s desire to promote apprenticeships places us in an ideal position to develop a strategy that will help industry employers submit a successful bid,” said Brian.

“Apprenticeships have a strong tradition within the hospitality industry and many employers continue in this convention. Employers large and small deliver strong apprenticeship programmes that offer a foundation for future career growth.

Some employers are already coming together to take advantage of this opportunity and People 1st has planned a series of events to brief industry leaders on possible approaches to accessing the funding and to agree a strategy to put forward a compelling bid.

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