The Government has announced the launch of a new strategy to help England’s hospitality sector recover from the pandemic and ensure businesses thrive long term.
In plans revealed today by business minister Paul Scully, the new Hospitality Strategy will focus on ‘reopening, recovery and resilience’ and will also see the creation of a new Hospitality Sector Council as well as a number of new initiatives introduced to raise the profile of the industry as a career and cut waste and reduce emissions.
The Strategy will set out measures including highlighting opportunities in the sector to jobseekers through DWP’s dedicated work coaches and helping the industry address current recruitment challenges.
This includes working with the government-owned British Business Bank and directly with lenders to support access to finance for hospitality firms.
It will also be easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes on the high street to offer al fresco dining and serve more customers outside, with pavement licenses being extended and made permanent.
Takeaway pints will also continue for another 12 months as the temporary permissions for off-sales of alcohol are extended in England and Wales.
The government will also work closely with the sector to improve its reputation as a chosen career. This includes exploring options for vocational skills and training that support careers in the sector, including apprenticeships, bootcamps and other qualifications like a T-Level.
Supporting innovation and productivity by using the government’s Help to Grow programmes to strengthen the sector’s digital and management skills is also part of the plan, as well as bringing hospitality businesses together with universities and other innovators.
Another focus will be helping the sector reduce emissions, including by cutting waste and single-use plastic consumption.
A new Hospitality Sector Council made up of industry leaders and government is being created to oversee the delivery of the strategy.
The council will agree an action plan to deliver the recommendations, review progress against this plan and monitor the overall recovery of the sector.
The council will be co-chaired by Business Minister Paul Scully and hospitality entrepreneur Karen Jones and further members will be announced in due course.
Business minister Paul Scully said: “We want young people to see the hospitality sector as a go-to option for long-term careers, and that’s why we will explore new options for vocational training and help further boost the creativity and environmental friendliness of the sector through the first-ever government strategy for the hospitality industry.”
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The pandemic has devastated the hospitality sector and businesses are desperate to bounce back strongly and return to profitable trading. That’s why the launch of this new Hospitality Strategy is so important – it offers a strong platform to deliver the supportive regulatory and trading environment we need to recover, rebuild resilience and thrive.
“Building and training our workforce is a top priority if hospitality is to quickly revive and drive a national recovery, so it’s incredibly positive that a key part of this strategy is focused on addressing the current recruitment challenges and raising the profile of long-term sector careers.
“Ultimately, this strategy sets out a positive vision for the future of hospitality and how a thriving sector can help regenerate high streets and tourism destinations across every part of the country.”