We were planning our Skills Swap project even before Covid-19 came along. The hospitality industry in Europe was facing many challenges – as there are many shortages and difficulties in being able to obtain and retain sufficiently skilled staff to work in the industry.
The reasons for this are well-researched and various. For instance, there is a mismatch between the needs of industry and training offers from the vocational education system, including major skills gaps – whether job-related or ‘soft skills’ (Next Generation Tourism EACEA Sector Skills Alliance,2019). In some quarters there is a poor image of hospitality careers, with negative – and
often out of date – perceptions of job quality because of-part-time, irregular hours; lower pay, fewer benefits and limited career prospects.
Yet, whilst these are issues that can be very real in the industry, both supply and demand-side pressures have raised standards – creating new occupations and better career pathways – not to mention international chances (EC DG for Internal Market, Industry & SMEs).
We believe that the best people to lead the recovery of the industry post-Covid are those who are passionate about it. This includes those who work in the industry right now as well as those who work in the training system who want to modernize their offers and make them more relevant to the modern workplace. Therefore, if you believe you offer good prospects, are willing to participate and contribute, whilst also standing to benefit, we want to work with you!
Together we aim to grow our network, helping to raise the status of the sector and awareness of all the traditional and new opportunities that are there – in the eyes of those who work with it, young people, their families and communities as a whole.