UKHospitality has welcomed a new government strategy to reopen the sector.
The new strategy, launched by business minister Paul Scully, focuses on the three Rs of reopening, recovery and resilience.
It includes measures to help the sector build back better and greener post-pandemic, including a potential new T Level to boost skills in the sector, bringing businesses together with universities to boost innovation, and reducing waste and plastic consumption.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The pandemic has devastated the hospitality sector and businesses are desperate to bounce back strongly and return to profitable trading.
“That’s why the launch of this new Hospitality Strategy is so important – it offers a strong platform to deliver the supportive regulatory and trading environment we need to recover, rebuild resilience and thrive.
“Building and training our workforce is a top priority if hospitality is to quickly revive and drive a national recovery, so it’s incredibly positive that a key part of this strategy is focused on addressing the current recruitment challenges and raising the profile of long-term sector careers.”
She also welcomed the focus on carbon reduction and said the strategy set out a “positive vision” for the future of hospitality, adding: “We look forward to working closely with Government to deliver a plan of action.”
Hospitality has suffered the permanent closure of nearly 10,000 licensed premises and lost more than £87 billion in sales.
Scully said: “The pandemic has meant we’ve had to stay apart, and this has had a big impact on the hospitality industry, which exists to bring people together.
“We’ve been working with hospitality businesses throughout the pandemic to understand what support they need to not only reopen, but change and improve how they do things to meet changing consumer demands and protect jobs and livelihoods.
“We want young people to see the hospitality sector as a go-to option for long-term careers, and that’s why we will explore new options for vocational training and help further boost the creativity and environmental friendliness of the sector through the first-ever government strategy for the hospitality industry.”