HATS UPDATE | Tackling attraction and retention together

Roisin McKee, Project Director, HATS Network updates us on the work they have been doing to help the industry recruit, retain and attract talent.

As businesses continue to face intense competition to recruit and retain talent, the Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) Network is working with partners on a collective ambition to grow a sustainable talent pipeline and transform the industry reputation to a place that people of all ages aspire to work in. 

Some recent highlights from activity spearheaded by the HATS Network include:  

      • An 8-episode on-demand Recruitment & Retention Webinar Series featuring industry experts launched to share best practices in recruitment & retention. To complement the series a toolkit is also available covering key webinar takeaways.  

        • 20 fully funded places secured for future leaders on a pilot Hospitality & Tourism Team Leader programme designed to motivate and develop top talent and respond to the current challenges facing the sector. The eight-week online programme provided new skills, insights, tools and techniques to team leaders and supervisors to empower them to get the best performance from their team.

          • A new Hospitality Apprenticeship Guide launched to promote apprenticeship pathways and opportunities to schools and inspire young people to actively consider apprenticeships as a viable entry route and career option. Featuring a range of successful apprentice stories, the guide also signposts directly to employers offering apprenticeship opportunities.

        • A sector collaboration showcased hospitality and tourism careers at the School Summit NI on 3 and 4 October at the EIKON Centre. Industry partners including Galgorm Collection, Titanic Belfast, Beannchor Group, Hillsborough Castle & Gardens, Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, W5, Hastings Hotels, National Museums NI joined us along with Tourism Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation and Springboard to inspire potential future talent to consider a career in the industry.

        • Engagement with representatives from the Labour Market Partnership network to explore sectoral collaboration opportunities to help attract and develop people to entry level positions has resulted in an initial pilot Housekeeping Academy being delivered in Belfast in December.     
        • 28 career testimonial videos produced showcasing a variety of roles to inspire jobseekers to actively consider a career in the industry.
        • Best practice shared at key partners events to explore the challenges and provide inspiration on what employers can do differently to attract and retain and make hospitality a great place to work.  
        • Sector skills challenges and solutions presented to the Department for Economy Minister in conjunction with the NI Tourism Alliance to help leverage demand-led skills solutions.

        Our focus for 2023 will be progressing partnerships across industry, government and education to drive greater impact and deliver on our objectives to attract, build and retain a sustainable workforce.     

        To find out more about HATS and sign up for updates visit www.hatsnetwork.co.uk  

        The HATS network project is supported by Invest Northern Ireland under its Collaborative Growth Programme.