UKHospitality (UKH) has announced the appointment of Sandra Kelly as its new skills director to shape the framework of skills in hospitality, including skills in secondary, further and higher education – with a renewed focus on apprenticeships and other in-work training.
This new role will reportedly be critical to the delivery of the trade body’s recently launched hospitality workforce strategy, fixing the crisis – a framework for collaborative action to address five key workforce challenges.
Previously, Kelly was the UK director at People 1st International and has nearly 30 years of operational and strategic experience across the hospitality sector.
UKHospitality will continue to work with People 1st International as the licensed Sector Skills Council for the industry.
UKH said the move is a substantial commitment from the trade body, and it “provides an opportunity for even greater employer involvement in creating the optimum route to a skilled workforce”.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer (CEO) of UKHospitality, said: “Hospitality is facing a workforce crisis. We are determined to tackle this for the fantastic businesses in the sector and to provide fulfilling jobs that boost social mobility. I am delighted to welcome Sandra and her wealth of knowledge and experience to the team to drive this forward.
“This appointment allows us to look at the short-term opportunities to tackle our current labour crisis but also to ensure there is a pipeline of talent that ensures we have great people joining hospitality and experiencing the opportunities we can provide.”
Kelly added: “Joining UKHospitality is a fantastic move for me and allows me to deliver on my passion – providing hospitality employees with the skills they need to succeed. I am thrilled to be able to bring a focus on skills policy development to UKHospitality and ensure the voice of our employer membership is central to setting this skills agenda.”
Jane Rexworthy, executive director of People 1st International, said: “We congratulate Sandra on her new role and it’s fantastic to see this additional investment and recognition of skills as a critical part of the workforce agenda.”