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New Hospitality Council to guide the sector's recovery

visitor economy Sep 29, 2021

A team of experts are helping England’s businesses to thrive

A team of industry experts has been assembled to help England’s pubs, restaurants and cafes to thrive.

  • Leading experts, businesses and entrepreneurs assembled to help deliver the government’s Hospitality Strategy   
  • the strategy is helping hospitality firms to reopen, recover and become more resilient following the pandemic, including through al fresco dining and takeaway pints   
  • the council meets for the first time today and includes UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls, Nando’s UK & Ireland Chief Executive Colin Hill and Mowgli’s Nisha Katona 

A team of industry experts has been assembled to help England’s pubs, restaurants and cafes to thrive, Business Minister Paul Scully has announced today (Wednesday 29 September). 

The Hospitality Sector Council is made up of experts who represent a cross-section of the sector, to support the delivery of the government’s Hospitality Strategy. The council will identify and oversee actions related to the 22 commitments in the strategy, create sensible solutions using their expert knowledge and assess the strength of the sector. 

The council is co-chaired by Minister Scully and hospitality entrepreneur and Chair of Prezzo Karen Jones. The first meeting of the council takes place today. 

Council members include UK Hospitality CEO Kate Nicholls, Emma McClarkin of the British Beer and Pub Association, Nando’s UK & Ireland Chief Executive Colin Hill, Greene King Chief Executive Nick MacKenzie, Starbucks UK General Manager Alex Rayner and Mowgli’s Nisha Katona.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:

The hospitality industry has shown incredible creativity and resourcefulness through the pandemic, pivoting to new ways of doing business like al fresco dining and takeaway pints to stay safe, meet changing consumer demands and protect livelihoods.   

With the launch of this council, we’re taking the next step in the journey to build back better from the pandemic by unveiling the experts who’ll be driving the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector. It’s a real ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment for the industry.

Entrepreneur and Hospitality Sector Council Co-Chair Karen Jones said:

I think the lockdowns have shown us many things, particularly the importance of our people and our teams and the key role hospitality has to play in lighting up our high streets and city centres. We now need to capitalise on our combined energy, creativity and innovation to continue the creation of a world-class hospitality industry: the Hospitality Sector Council will aid in making that a reality.

I am honoured to be co-chair alongside Minister Scully and, together with a group of hospitality leaders, to put in place all that our wonderful industry need to flourish.

The Hospitality Strategy supports the reopening, recovery and resilience of the sector following the pandemic. This includes making it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to offer al fresco dining by making pavement licenses permanent, and extending takeaway pints in England and Wales until September 2022 to further boost sales. 

The strategy also sets out ways to help the sector grow and boost its creativity, including through exploring options for vocational skills and training such as apprenticeships, bootcamps and other qualifications like a T Level. 

Since the strategy was launched on 16 July, progress includes:

  • the National Employers and Partners Team creating a steering group to find hospitality vacancies and support employers in filling them. The Department for Work and Pensions has also been filling vacancies by using their work coaches and Plan for Jobs programmes including Kickstart and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs)
  • the Department for Education adding hospitality and catering qualifications to Free Courses for Jobs. This offers adults without Level 3 qualifications a range of free courses which now includes food and beverage supervision, professional cookery, and patisserie and confectionary

The government wants to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business and is working with the country’s small businesses to seize every opportunity to grow. The ‘Help to Grow: Management’ course is 90% subsidised by government and equips business leaders with the tools to take their business to the next level, combining a practical curriculum with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network. The course is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work and helps business leaders develop their strategic skills, create jobs and boost their business performance. 

Today’s announcement builds on the Plan for Jobs – the government’s blueprint to protect, support and create jobs across the UK and help people gain the skills they need to get into work through schemes such as Kickstart, apprenticeships and traineeships.  

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