Essential to engage FE sector more broadly in efforts to promote economic recovery in Wales

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ColegauCymru has today noted the publication of the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee Report, Raising the Bar: Securing the future of Hospitality, Tourism and Retail

The Report, published following a one-day inquiry, looks at the long-term challenges for hospitality, tourism and retail, and how to resolve deep-seated issues that could hold back confidence and stand in the way of a solid recovery.

ColegauCymru was grateful for the chance to engage with the Committee. We were encouraged by Recommendation 13 which calls for Welsh Government to set out more detail of where it sees scope, within its planned expansion of the apprenticeships programme, for higher-level career pathways in tourism and hospitality, including for degree apprenticeships.

However, it is important to avoid taking a narrow approach and to consider skills and upskilling more broadly. The Further Education sector currently offers a wide range of courses across the hospitality, tourism and retail sectors as well as related professional qualifications.

ColegauCymru Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Dr Rachel Bowen said,

“As Iestyn Davies, former ColegauCymru Chief Executive, said in his evidence to the Committee, we need to think about how jobs in these industries are designed and the kinds of qualifications that can support them.

Our ‘Enabling Renewal’ report highlights the example of hotel workers in Germany who tended to not only be more productive but higher skilled. Their vocational courses offered training that tended to be both broader in issues covered and more comprehensive in terms of depth (including well-developed IT skills).

Wales needs to explore positive examples from other countries about how to develop and promote rewarding careers in these industries which includes considering different approaches to qualifications and skills. Engaging the FE sector fully is essential to this.

ColegauCymru is committed to working with stakeholders to ensure that sector expertise supports recovery. Ultimately, we need to focus partnerships on exploring and enabling the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors to reimagine and then build a future that attracts and retains staff and fulfils the potential of Wales’ economy and citizens. This must take place in conjunction with further education and other stakeholders.”

Further Information

Senedd Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee Report
Raising the Bar: Securing the future of Hospitality, Tourism and Retail
July 2022

ColegauCymru Report
Enabling Renewal: Further Education and Building Better Citizenship, Occupations and Business Communities in Wales
November 2020

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