Thursday, 7 November 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
245. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has considered the Irish Hotels Federation paper on job creation and training in the Irish hospitality industry; if he is concerned that career opportunities within the sector are not being fully exploited due to current training policy; if he sees need to focus on craft training; if he is concerned about a possible skill shortage in the future; if he will support the establishment of a tourism training division within Solas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47533/13]
I have received a paper from the IHF entitled "Job Creation and Training in the Hospitality Industry" which sets out the IHF's concerns in relation to training and skills in the Irish Hotel sector. I am also aware that the National Skills Bulletin published in June this year noted that Ireland as a whole has an excess labour supply overall with a low magnitude of skills shortages in some niche areas. The bulletin found that while there are no shortages of chefs in the labour market there are potential retention issues.
In that regard, it is worth noting that in 2012 Fáilte Ireland provided training and business support to 16,994 trainees, students and, employees and employers in the tourism sector. In this context, 1,600 students received funding to allow them pursue Hospitality Craft and Tourism courses including Culinary Arts in the Institutes of Technology.
In looking forward to renewed growth in the sector, consideration will have to be given to the appropriate balance of direct enterprise support, entry level training and advanced/professional training. SOLAS, employers, further and higher education providers - particularly the Education and Training Boards - and Fáilte Ireland will all have complementary roles to play in that regard. This is an issue that has been raised as part of the ongoing tourism policy review and is being considered also in that context.