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Government drive to 'upskill and reskill' people in the hospitality sector

Minister Simon Harris said Covid-19 has had a “devastating” effect on the sector.

Pubs have been closed for almost 12 months.
Pubs have been closed for almost 12 months.
Image: Sasko Lazarov

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced two courses aimed aimed at providing “upskilling and reskilling” opportunities to those who work in the hospitality sector.

The sector has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic with restaurants closed for most of the past year and pubs shuttered for 11 months in a row. 

It is estimated that before the pandemic one in ten jobs in Ireland were related to tourism with 70% of them being outside of Dublin. 

Elaina Fitzgerald Kane of the Irish Hotel’s Federation said that “the scale of the decimation has been unprecedented” and that some 160,000 jobs have been temporarily lost. 

She said today that the industry will be “very, very different” when it returns. 

It’s very much about having something timely and it is an opportune time now in terms of having this degree of engagement, having a route forward and certainly building the capability. When we do all reopen it will be very, very at different sector. 

The online courses are being run by SOLAS and Education and Training Boards across the country and are free of charge. 

The Department of Further and Higher Education says that the aim of the courses is upskill people in both supervisory roles and other employees. 

The skills being targeted are finance, people management, customer care, digital skills, communications and strategic planning.

The courses will also have an environmental element that will focus on green and sustainability skills.

Speaking at the launch of the courses today, Minister Simon Harris said that now is a good chance to rebuild the sector because that people will have an opportunity to learn new skills. 

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The minister said that workers “wouldn’t normally wouldn’t have this time in a very, very busy sector.

“The sector has temporarily had to close and I want to ensure we use this time to support the sector in preparing for when they can resume business. The hospitality and tourism sectors are vital to the Irish economy and we must support it to recover and grow.”

CEO of SOLAS Andrew Brownlee said he would hope to cater for 800 people over the two courses of this year with a total of 10,000 employees upskilling across all of its programmes. 

Further details can be found on the government’s The Right Course website

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Rónán Duffy

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