APPG for the Visitor Economy launch inquiry into apprenticeships and skills development

APPGThe All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy has today launched an inquiry into apprenticeships and skills development in the hospitality and tourism industry.

The APPG, co-chaired by Nigel Huddleston MP for Mid Worcestershire and Margaret Ritchie MP for South Down which met for the first time this week, has issued a call for written evidence around the key challenges and opportunities for apprenticeships and how the Government can attract more apprenticeships to the industry.

Evidence is invited from all stakeholders across the UK including hospitality and tourism businesses, local and other trade associations, representatives of UK, Devolved and Local Governments, Local Enterprise Partnerships, non-government organisations, educational institutions, charities and community groups.

The Group was established earlier this year to enhance local economies through promoting measures and incentives, including a reduction of VAT on tourism, which would increase visitor numbers and investment in the regions.  The British Hospitality Association serves as the Secretariat to the APPG.

The decision to hold the inquiry coincides with publication today of a critical Ofsted report which states that the number of 16-18-year-olds being taken on as apprentices is as low as it was a decade ago. Only five per cent of 16 year olds go into an apprenticeship which the report says “is little short of a disaster.”

Nigel Huddleston MP, Co-Chair of the APPG said: “Job creation is crucial to improving the UK’s economy and the potential within the hospitality and tourism industry is enormous.  The call for written evidence is an exciting opportunity for businesses to have their say on how the Government can improve skill development and attract more apprenticeships to industry.”

Margaret Ritchie MP, Co-Chair of the APPG said: “Our tourism Industry is a great economic driver and opens up many opportunities for our young people and those seeking a change in their career path. I am delighted that the APPG’s first inquiry will focus on apprenticeships and skill development within the hospitality and tourism sector.  We look forward to receiving written evidence from interested individuals and organisations.”

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “The BHA welcomes the APPG’s first inquiry on skills and apprenticeships in the visitor economy. As the organization representing the UK’s 4th largest employer - 14 per cent of the total employment – we look to this enquiry and the APPG to influence the policy reforms needed upskill Britain through hospitality and tourism. As the secretariat for the Visitor Economy APPG, the BHA will encourage and facilitate the active participation of the private sector in this inquiry.”

Read the formal call for evidence here.  The closing date for submissions is Friday 13 November 2015.

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