'Skills to Advance' helps Hospitality meet Challenges

Pictured at the launch of the'Skills to Advance' programme are (from left) Andrew Brownlee (ceo, Solas), Simon Harris, Minister for Higher and Further Education, Elaina Fitzgerald, president, IHF, Niall Collins (Minister of State for Further Education) and Tim Fenn, ceo, IHF).

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Skills to Advance is a policy initiative aimed at enhancing the skills of people in employment. Developed in 2018 by SOLAS (The Further Education and Training Authority) and the Department of Education and Skills, it has since been rolled out with the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) around the country.

Skill to Advance provides upskilling and reskilling opportunities, anticipating and responding to skill needs. It particularly targets those facing changes in their work due to technology advances, changing work practices and market diversification.

A key feature of Skills to Advance is its focus on sectors experiencing disruption or those with emerging opportunities. A current example of this is Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism. Driven by the critical challenges now facing the industry, and in order to boost the retention and career progression of key talent, two new training programmes have been developed by SOLAS and the ETBs in collaboration with the Irish Hotels Federation, Failte Ireland, and Regional Skills Fora.

Speaking at the launch of the programmes recently, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, TD, said: “Covid-19 has hit the hospitality and tourism sectors and those working in them extremely hard. These two programmes offer an opportunity for employees and employers to upskill and will help staff deal with the new business environment, its challenges and opportunities.”

These highly subsidised, accredited programmes are aimed at hotel employees who are currently performing a team leader or frontline management role or are new to a supervisory role. They aim to equip employees in the sector with enhanced skills to lead and manage their teams effectively. Benefits for employers include customised training to equip staff to lead teams effectively, increase staff motivation and retention and customised content to address skills gaps. Benefits for employees include enhancing skillsets, leading teams effectively, managing and motivating teams, developing digital skills and optimising career prospects. These programmes will be delivered in a flexible manner to suit both the business and the employee both online with tutor support and when feasible, a blend of online and in-person training is available.

To learn more about the opportunities available through Skills to Advance for employees and employers across the hospitality and tourism sectors, contact your local Education and Training Board – contact details for Skills to Advance coordinators in all regions can be found at www.skillstoadvance.ie.