Government of Ireland
Regional Skills

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Skills to Advance - Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism

15 February 2021 

Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism

Minister Harris announces new upskilling programme for workers in hospitality and tourism.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD has announced two new upskilling programmes for people in the hospitality and tourism sector.These highly subsidised programmes are available to upskill staff across the country to support recovery and growth in hospitality and tourism.

The programmes have been developed by SOLAS and the Education and Training Boards in consultation with the Irish Hotels Federation, Fáilte Ireland and the Regional Skills Fora. One programme is to develop team leaders and the other to develop supervisory management capability, to assist recovery and growth in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Harris said: “Covid-19 has hit the hospitality and tourism sector and those working in them extremely hard.

“However, this is not forever and the tourism and hospitality sector is vital to Ireland’s economic recovery. 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.

 “This pandemic has taught us the value of what is on our doorsteps. We must help ensure the sustainability of the sector and help it grow.

The Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism programme will upskill team leads and supervisory staff in critical areas including operations, finance, systems, and people management. This programme is part of the national Skills to Advance Further Education and Training initiative, which supports employers to develop their workforce and employees to avail of upskilling and reskilling opportunities. As a major employer in Ireland, the hospitality and tourism sector has identified the need to retain key talent and develop leadership capability to rejuvenate businesses for recovery and growth.

Flexibility is assured both in programme content and delivery schedules to meet the sector’s requirements. The focus on developing skills to future proof the workforce in vulnerable occupations, businesses and sectors is central to the strategic mission of the Skills to Advance Initiative. Recent events highlight that those in vulnerable sectors run the risk of being most at risk of job loss and need upskilling and reskilling to develop agile skills for employment.

Launching the initiative, Andrew Brownlee, CEO, SOLAS, said:“The Further Education and Training Sector is committed to upskilling and reskilling employees across all industries particularly those who are facing challenges or undergoing changes. These programmes are coming on stream at a time of unprecedented challenges for the Hospitality and Tourism sector and are designed in response to their needs. The excellent collaboration between the FET sector and industry bodies has meant that these programmes  were developed in a short time period and with specific industry needs in mind.  It is a great example of how the FET sector can work with employers to future proof their workforces”.

Further information is available at and or by contacting your local Education and Training Board.