Speaking at yesterday’s launch of ‘Tourism: jobs and growth’ - a new Deloitte study commissioned by VisitBritain – the Minister admitted to being ‘blown away’ by the industry’s potential to create 300,000 jobs by 2020, commending the British Hospitality Association (BHA) for helping to galvanise the industry.
“The commitment of the hospitality and tourism industry to creating jobs and supporting young people has been brought into sharp focus by the British Hospitality Association’s Big Conversation,” said Grant.
“It has shown the potential of creating 300,000 new jobs by 2020 and 1,000 employers have already pledged to create 5,000 jobs and 15,000 apprenticeships.
“This is truly impressive, and it’s initiatives like this which help to realise the potential outlined in today’s report.”
The Deloitte report revealed that the tourism industry now supports over three million jobs across the UK (9.6 per cent of UK employment), and that recent employment growth has been ‘stellar’ – more than four times the rate of manufacturing.
Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, said: "The Hospitality industry is UK plc's brightest star. We account for one third of all new jobs created in Britain between 2010 and 2012, taking us to three million employees across all regions of the UK - from coastal to rural, towns and cities. This growth will move hospitality up into the top three biggest employers in Britain.
“As other industries increasingly automate and outsource jobs, hospitality stands out for the scale of jobs it represents, especially for young entrants, and for the pace and extent of career development offered across our industry.
“There are few industries that can match Hospitality's power to propel individuals from entry level to boardrooms across Britain."
The BHA has been behind the recent series of Big Conversation events across the UK, which have provided an opportunity for young people to talk with key industry faces about a potential career in hospitality.
As well as setting out industry successes, yesterday’s study also made recommendations for improvement, suggesting that the hospitality and tourism sector had yet to embrace the potential offered by cutting-edge technologies.
In response, Ibrahim added: “Forty-four per cent of people employed in the hospitality sector are under 30. This is a technology-savvy generation of young people who, as they grow through the ranks in hospitality, will no doubt embrace the technological opportunities and help the industry to reach its full digital-potential.”