Attitudes towards training within the hospitality industry in southeast Wales
Training within the hospitality industry is a widely-debated issue with differentstakeholders having differing views depending on their background and representationin the debate. This industry is therefore no different to other industries in the opinionsthat predominate. What is clear however is that the hospitality industry in the UK iscurrently suffering from an acute skills shortage. This study is concerned with analysingthe attitudes of some of these key stakeholders towards the types of training that areemployed in hospitality, and whether these approaches are suitable as trainingparadigms. The study focuses specifically on attitudes in Southeast Wales amongstemployers, educators and training providers using a case-study methodology. Theresearch was undertaken in three phases.The first two phases of the study were concerned with assessing the attitudes of theemployers. In phase 1 local employers were initially questioned using a focus-groupapproach. The results informed phase 2 which involved a series of individual interviewswith employers from a range of hospitality sectors (including hotels, restaurants, fast-food outlets, public houses, motorway service stations, and catering services outlets)across Southeast Wales. A typology of the vocational training models used in thedifferent sectors, with clear identification of the perceived effectiveness andacceptability of these models to the different employer groups, was developed. Theresearch findings from phase I and phase 2 were also developed into a pictogram whichrepresents the key features influencing training within SMEs and larger hospitalitycompanies.A recurring theme during the first two phases was the contrasting employer attitudestowards NVQs as a suitable training model. Phase 3 of the research explored theseattitudes further by involving other stakeholders involved in NVQ delivery - theeducators and training providers - as well as assessing whether attitudes in SoutheastWales are different to, or representative of, a larger geographical area. A series ofindividual interviews were therefore conducted with educators and training providers inSoutheast Wales, the rest of 'Wales, and England. The results indicated that attitudes donot differ based on location, but instead several key themes were identified that werecommon to the participants.Phase 3 of the research also involved a quantitative approach to explore these themesmore fully using a larger sample size. An e-questionnaire was sent to representativefurther education lecturers, higher education lecturers, and training providers acrossWales and England. The results concluded that there are perceived strengths with theNVQ model, but that the weaknesses are significant and many respondents wouldwelcome the introduction of an alternative training model. The study concludes byproposing an alternative model and making recommendations for future developmentsin hospitality skills training.
- School of Management