On 22 January 2018, Visit Herts hosted a Promoting Hospitality Sector workshop to tackle ongoing challenges relating to the recruitment, retention and development of staff within the industry. The workshop, held at The Grove Hotel, Watford, was the first of its kind for Hertfordshire, bringing local hoteliers and training providers together under one roof to identify issues faced at both ends of the recruitment process and discuss pragmatic solutions.

The workshop was hosted in partnership with Hertfordshire LEP and Hertfordshire County Council with the aim of strengthening the county’s tourism offer, supporting local tourism businesses and increasing employment opportunities within the hospitality sector.

View the agenda.

The employer’s view of the present opportunities and challenges was presented by Nathan White, General Manager of De Vere Theobalds Estate, while John McMahon, Managing Director of Together Training, an Apprenticeship Levy guidance service run in partnership between Oaklands College and West Herts College, put forward the training provider’s perspective.

Emma Gratwick from YC Hertfordshire and Aiden Moffat from Virtual School, both youth support programmes run by Hertfordshire County Council, spoke about the need for employers to widen the talent pool to encompass vulnerable groups that may have been previously overlooked, such as young care leavers.

22 year old care leaver Paula De Silva provided a personal account of her experience working in the industry, giving insight into what employers could do to make a career in hospitality more compelling to improve staff retention rates.

View speakers’ presentation slides.

The pledges and feedback raised by delegates during the workshop will be collated into an action plan and used to inform a framework for the future. Visit Herts will also form a steering group to drive this agenda forward, comprising representatives from Hertfordshire LEP and Hertfordshire County Council, employers and training providers.

For more information, please contact event organiser Sue Lea, Visit Herts Destination Manager, at sue.lee@visitherts.co.uk.