Work in hospitality? Bournemouth’s at heart of scheme to fast-track you off minimum wage

Bournemouth’s National Coastal Tourism Academy has won government money to improve wages and careers in the hospitality trade.

It has hired a human resources expert to work with six local hotels after securing funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and the Dbournemouthepartment for Work and Pensions.

The aim will be to fast-track staff off the minimum wage and encourage longer service. The hotels taking part are the Norfolk Royale, the Cumberland, the Green House, the Marsham Court, the Royal Exeter and the Sandbanks in Poole.

The consultant will develop bespoke induction courses and a programme to further the careers of entry level employees. Samantha Richardson, director of the academy, said: “Lack of skilled hospitality staff is a problem throughout the industry. This project tackles the issues of high staff turnover and low wages head-on. “By working closely with a number of Bournemouth hotels supporting them to deliver engagement programmes, analysing their induction processes and training, we aim to monitor the trajectory of staff on the minimum wage to encourage career growth and staff retention.

“Motivated staff with solid support are more likely to stay longer, be more inspired and feel more passionately about their job, which in turn leads to greater repeat business. Understanding how to develop careers even in a seasonal environment will have an impact on the industry nationwide. “If we can accelerate the careers of staff at entry level successfully, this project has the potential to help plug the widening gap in skills shortages.”

The academy says the retail and hospitality industries provide 6.9m jobs between them – a fifth of the country’s employment. Both sectors are forecast to grow, but staff turnover rates are high and induction is costly. The academy says pressure on remaining staff can lead to low motivation and lost sales.

Rosie Wallace, director at the Marsham Court Hotel, said: “The hospitality industry suffers from an image of long hours with little reward, but there are enormous opportunities for progression. “We’ve had staff join us at entry level who have gone on to become managers. Our duty manager, Andy Thompson, for example, originally came as a work placement student from Bournemouth University and has worked with us for years. “Staff are our most important resource, so we’re delighted to be part of this project and increase our training and staff engagement.”

The 18-month project will be disseminated nationally when finished.


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