Management and Leadership Skills Key for Future of Hospitality Industry - Kennedy

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Management and Leadership Skills Key for Future of Hospitality Industry - Kennedy

15 February 2011

Employment and Learning Minister, Danny Kennedy, today joined with Colin Neill, from Pubs of Ulster, to highlight the importance of developing good management and leadership skills in pubs.

Pubs of Ulster, the industry body for the Retail Licensed Trade in Northern Ireland, has launched a series of events to promote the Department�s Management Analysis and Planning (MAP) and Management and Leadership Development Programmes (MLDP) to its members to help meet the current and future skills requirements of the industry. Welcoming the initiative by Pubs of Ulster, the Minister said: �The Hospitality Action Group has worked hard over the past couple of years to find ways to develop the staff in this sector. This campaign by Pubs of Ulster to promote my Department�s Management and Leadership programmes to their members is yet another example of their determination to improve the skills levels within the industry. �It is vital that local businesses realise the tangible benefits that are gained from improving the leadership skills of their managers, as good managers go a long way in helping to achieve business objectives.� Under the MAP Programme, pubs are offered support in identifying and addressing their business needs through a dedicated business adviser who provides a report worth �1,000 detailing the strengths, weaknesses, skills gaps and areas for development within the business. Participating companies then receive a bespoke training and development plan highlighting the achievable solutions as well as the offer of up to �6,000 of funding support. Under the Management and Leadership Development Programme (MLDP), pubs can also take part in a First Line management programme (Accelerate) which is targeted at those in a supervisory role who would like to improve their management skills. The pub industry plays a crucial role in Northern Ireland, contributing �1 billion per year to the local economy and employing around 35,000 people. Although the industry is currently under severe economic pressure, it needs to look to the future with an emphasis on equipping the industry with the right skills to not only work through these difficult times, but to ensure the future sustainability of the pub trade. Speaking of the benefits of the training programmes, Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Pubs of Ulster, said: �During this difficult time publicans should be looking inward at the strengths and weaknesses of their business and investing in their management and staff in order to equip them with the necessary skills to drive business. The Department for Employment and Learning and the Future Skills Action Group have recognised the important role pubs play in Northern Ireland and the need to support and develop this through these valuable training programmes.� The programmes support the Department for Employment and Learning�s �Made Not Born� campaign which is aimed at developing Northern Ireland�s leaders and managers. It is based on the proven concept that great leaders and managers are not born, but made and encourages the local business community to make their own leaders and managers of tomorrow. The promotion of management and leadership support is also a key focus of the Future Skills Action Plan for Hospitality and Tourism, which aims to address the many skills issues facing the hospitality sector. Stephen Magorrian, Managing Director of Botanic Inns and Chair of the Future Skills Action Group for Hospitality and Tourism, said: �The hospitality industry is faced with a number of challenges if it is to respond to the ever changing expectations of customers and it will require the improvement of a number of key skills amongst its workforce. Management and leadership skills have been identified by Sector Skills Council, People 1st, as a critical skills gap facing the industry. With only 21% of those employed in the hospitality and tourism industry possessing the minimum qualification level for a management position, we need to work closely with those with a vested interest in the sector to meet this skills challenge. Our work with Pubs of Ulster is an example of how this can be done effectively to ensure the future success of the industry.� For more information on the programmes Pubs of Ulster are running, click here.