THE Government is to unveil a dedicated training body
for the travel and tourism industry early next year.

Speaking at a VisitBritain reception in London,
minister for sport and tourism Richard Cabourn said the new Sector Skills
Council would be the central plank of a policy to drive up hospitality
standards in the UK. If given the green light as expected, it will begin work
in April.

Seven similar councils already exist, operating for
industries including retail and IT. They replaced the now-defunct National
Training Organisations earlier this year.

Although the SSC’s have been praised by unions because
of their heavy funding, some critics have argued they are too big to deliver
targeted training.

However, Cabourn said: “It is bringing the industry
together. We need to lift the skills base, giving transferable qualifications
and getting young people excited about the profession.”

The SSC will consist of a board, including trade
representatives, which will lobby training organisations to ensure they are
providing the right courses and support the industry to make sure Government
cash is used in the right way.