Addressing Current and Future Skill Requirements in the Irish Tourism and Hospitality Sector: A Collaborative Approach
Key NTG partner, TU Dublin is working closely with the Tourism and Hospitality Careers Oversight Group (COG) in Ireland. The group supports sustainable employment in the Irish Tourism and Hospitality Sector and was formed in March 2016 following a recommendation from the 2015 Expert Group on Future Skills Needs Report. COG works on a collaborative basis and includes industry representative bodies, education and training providers, state agencies and government departments. It provides a forum for practical action and collaboration to address the skills needs of the Tourism and Hospitality Sector in Ireland. COG works to coordinate the relevant bodies to agree and implement a work programme to address current and future labour supply and skills in the tourism and hospitality sector.
The Tourism and Hospitality Careers Oversight Group is an excellent example of best practice at national level and highlights the importance of a collaborative process to identify skill gaps, opportunities and address skills needs.
Members of the Group have developed a two-year work plan for 2019/2020 that focuses on five targeted objectives and will oversee the implementation of key activities to deliver on agreed key performance indicators. Throughout 2019, the Group has achieved, and will continue to develop, the following priority actions through a number of initiatives:
- Career promotion:
Deliver a careers promotion campaign to improve awareness and attractiveness of the tourism and hospitality sector
- Employment connections:
Build employment connections to close the skills gap and explore alternatives where skills shortfalls persist.
- Recruitment and retention:
Encourage best practice employer programmes to attract and retain new and existing talent.
- Curriculum alignment:
Improve alignment between curriculum and industry needs by establishing occupational profiles.
- Mapping existing provision:
Map existing education and training provision to identify gaps and improve industry awareness of skills provision.
COG recognises that the best approach to support sustainable employment in the Tourism and Hospitality sector requires a coordinated and collaborative approach by relevant stakeholders including industry, education and training providers.
The Next Tourism Generation will establish a community for skills development of digital, social and green skills with five tourism subsectors:
- Visitor attractions
- Food and Beverage
- Destination Management
- Tour Operators and Travel Agencies.
Collaborative groups at the national level are essential in achieving this goal and provide an example of good practice in addressing current and future skills needs in the Tourism and Hospitality industry.
The NTG research identified current skills gaps and future skills needs in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. The research included a survey with 1404 respondents and interviews with 264 tourism businesses, directors and entrepreneurs across Europe. The interview and survey results across the five sectors for Ireland highlighted:
- The significance of social skills as people interaction and customer relation skills were particularly important.
- Green skills are needed to move towards zero emissions and to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
- There is a need among SMEs for greater digital skills in the use of social media applications in a business context. There is also a need across all sectors for skills in data analytics.
Please see the NTG research page for Ireland for the interview results, key quote reports and survey results.
Communicating research findings with stakeholders such as COG is key to addressing current and future skills requirements in the Tourism and Hospitality industry and helps to bridge the gap between industry and education. TU Dublin, School of Hospitality Management, provide regular updates to COG to get input from the group on upcoming NTG activities.
The Tourism and Hospitality Careers Oversight Group includes industry representative bodies, state agencies and educational providers. These collaborative groups are imperative in addressing skills needs and supporting sustainable employment in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. TU Dublin and the Next Tourism Generation Alliance would like to thank COG for their input and support for the NTG project.