TheBHA aims to raise awareness across government, media and the general public of the importance of hospitality and the critical role it plays in the UK’s economy.
In August 2010, we commissioned Oxford Economics to evaluate the impact of the industry on the country’s economy and the additional contribution it could make..
The research provided firm evidence that hospitality accounts for 2.44 million jobs, placing the industry as the fifth largest in the UK. Further research showed that – given the right framework – it could create an additional 236,000 jobs within five years – almost a 10pc increase. With this evidence, we set out a partnership proposition for government which was launched in the House of Commons in October.
The report has been welcomed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with whom we are in discussions about utilising the 2012 Olympics to launch the UK’s first public private high-level conference on hospitality. This initiative will bring government and the BHA together as partners, establishing a biennial platform for dialogue on the key challenges and opportunities for hospitality leaders.
The BHA is also working closely with the Department of Health. We have a seat on the board of the ‘Responsibility Deal’ formed and chaired by the Secretary of State for Health and, as the voice for ‘out of home food services’, the BHA is working on a voluntary proposal for the industry to help attain government targets on reducing obesity and improving the nation’s health. In this way, we hope to avoid any unnecessary legislation in this area.
• Health is one of the five main areas of focus for the BHA in 2011. The others are:
• Economy (where we will concentrate on establishing a partnership with the Treasury towards an appropriate fiscal policy for the industry – including a joint study on the possibility of reducing VAT for hospitality in the future),
• Employment, education and skills so that talent and careers within hospitality can be developed, supported by a realistic education policy, and taking advantage of the government’s apprenticeships programme.
• Sustainability, focusing on carbon reduction commitments and other proposed legislative changes affecting our businesses,
• Competitiveness of the UK as a destination attracting domestic and international customers, but also as a place to do business. We are discussing potential partnerships with the various Visit agencies and DCMS.
A further area of focus is on ensuring a level playing field for the food and service management industry, currently having to compete with public agencies on an unequal basis for procurement services, such as catering.
We are inviting all our members to actively engage in this work because we need to know how regulation affects all hospitality businesses. We would also like to discuss with members the propositions we have made to government.
Profiling our members’ best practices will be one aspect of a special communications’ campaign which will be launched in 2011 to raise awareness of the importance of hospitality across the UK. Special attention will be given to the newly elected governments in Scotland and Wales, as well as the local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships across England, as well as London.
For key lobbying issues 2011, please click HERE