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Time to change the sector's perceptions

The hospitality industry needs to realise the vital contribution of housekeeping


The Leeds and Liverpool Canal will offer work for local jobseekers

FJF programme to benefit canal

Unemployed residents to work on Bradford waterway

By Martin Nash

Unemployed Bradford residents will work along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal this spring as part of the government's Future Jobs Fund (FJF) scheme. A five-strong team, led by

British Waterways in partner- ship with the Bradford Motor Education Project, will be responsible for carrying out a number of maintenance tasks along the canal, which will include painting, litter clear- ance, minor towpath resurfac- ing, vegetation management and dry stone walling.

The skills and experience

picked up over a six month contract can then be trans- ferred on to their future careers. The FJF aims to create around

150,000 jobs nationally in unemployment hotspots, with 100,000 of these aimed at 18-24 year olds. A further 10,000 are also designated as 'Green Jobs', delivering benefits to the wider community. A partnership, led by

Bradford Council and support- ed by Aspire-i and Incommuni- ties, aims to work with a range of employers in a bid to support 1,250 jobs.

NSAH extends Disney programme

The National Skills Academy for Hospitality (NSAH) has extended its Disney Institute programme for 2010. Following the initial Disney

Institute programme in London last year, the NSAH has launched an enhanced package for 2010, delivering year-round Disney Institute leadership and management training for the sector. The centrepiece of the initiative will again be the

© Cybertrek 2010

five-day seminar programme, held at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London between 13 and 17 Septem- ber, with three distinct courses on offer. NSAH is also presenting a

series of 90-minute Disney Institute WebCasts, broadcast live over the internet from Orlando, direct to subscribing companies' head offices, training venues or even individual outlets.

he world of housekeeping and accommodation management has, and is, changing rapidly not just

across the UK, but internationally too. Many people don't really understand

the term, and have little idea of what the role really entails, and that's why Springboard is working with its partners to highlight the opportunities for employment and shine a light on some of the issues facing this sector. It's not just about making beds and

keeping rooms clean, important that those things are. People employed in this area often get involved in the selection of fabrics, recruitment and training, along with ordering stock and budgeting and much more. You don't necessarily need to have

academic qualifications, but there are Apprenticeships for those under 24, and degrees in hospitality management that incorporate units of study in this area. Or you can opt for a qualification in culinary arts and accommodation management. If you're involved in supervising others there are NVQs in

GARETH EDWARDS is education direc- tor of Springboard UK. Leisure Oppor- tunities is the offi- cial recruitment magazine for Springboard UK

housekeeping and hospitality supervision, and housekeepers tend to be loyal and stay in the role for some time. But recent changes to visa regulations and the over reliance on Eastern Europe to plug shortfalls in this sector cannot be guaranteed. The industry need to grow and nurture home grown talent. Part of an on-going problem is that housekeeping is not

often seen as a desirable or worthwhile career option and a lot of vocational courses tend to focus on food preparation, cooking and service. This has helped exacerbate the problem of understanding the importance that a quality accommodation management team can have. What people often miss is the progression, often rapid, from

this role to front-of-house or training within the organisation. It also offers the chance to enhance professional qualifications. Conferences that Springboard is helping to organise – the

first of their kind – are being held in The Cumberland in London (3 June); The Midland Hotel, Manchester (14 June); and The Balmoral in Edinburgh (1 July). It's targeting general managers, HR Directors and the housekeeping and Accommodation Managers themselves. We see this very much as a wake up call and a real chance to change the perceptions of this important part of the industry.

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