The travel, leisure and hospitality sector will be facing a severe staff shortage in the future if it continues to rely on young and poorly qualified staff, People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom said.
The sector skills council's first State of the Nation report, which was launched on May 13 at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London, found that 16% of the workforce is under 19 and 53% of managers have no management level qualification.
"We will be facing a brick wall if we rely on a churning pool of 16 to 24-year-olds and don't train them, as that sector of the population is shrinking. This is a call to action for the industry," said Wisdom at the launch of the report.
Minister for culture, creative industries and tourism Barbara Follett backed Wisdom's comments. "The people who take a job in our sector are very young and the training they are given is crucial to your success. People will still book a holiday despite limited budgets, but they want a perfect experience," she said.
The report also revealed that vast changes in the travel industry have resulted in a 30% decline in the number of travel consultants in the last three years. However, this number is starting to stabilise as the recession prompts customers to seek reassurance from the trade.
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