SSDA approves bid for hospitality SSC

The Government body Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) has given approval for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry to proceed to the development phase of establishing a Sector Skills Council (SSC). SSCs receive public investment and enhanced dialogue with Government departments, enabling employers to have a greater impact on policy, as well as more influence with education and training partners. The approval follows a joint bid from the Travel, Tourism and Events National Training Organisation (TTENTO) and the Hospitality Training Foundation, which will now submit a full proposal to the SSDA by the end of January 2003. Despite this, Peter Worger, the Association of Conference & Events general manager, is sceptical about how soon an industry SSC will come to fruition. “It’s good news there is progress being made on training and skills in our industry, but it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything from government sources until May 2003,” he said. TTENTO chief executive Caroline Horrigan admitted there was still a lot of work ahead before a SSC is set up, but that the hardest job – getting to the development phase – was complete. Only five UK sectors have been given the go-ahead to submit proposals for an SSC. Worger also expressed concern a large industry training body would run the risk of losing touch with working practices. But Horrigan said the industry was aware of this. “It will be down to our management to ensure the industry has a say about training and skills,” she said.

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