News & insights

CASE STUDY: Employer best practices in talent attraction & retention

How Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast champions inclusive employment

Tapping into non-traditional labour pools

The need for an inclusive labour market has never been more pressing. With a tightening talent landscape and persistent economic inactivity, businesses and policymakers alike are recognising the immense potential of untapped talent pools.

Recruitment and retention woes for tourism and hospitality firms as need to close skills gap intensifies

New research launched by the Hospitality and Tourism Skills Network (HATS), supported by Tourism NI, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Hospitality Ulster and People 1st International sheds light on some of the deep-rooted staffing issues impacting upon the sector, leading to calls for greater investment in employee retention and development.  

HATS Network welcomes Dr Nikki McQuillan of Ulster University Business School to Executive Steering Group

HATS Network has welcomed the appointment of Dr Nikki McQuillan of Ulster University Business School to its Executive Steering Group, helping to strengthen the Group by incorporating representation from higher education.

Industry unite to showcase career opportunities to students and teachers

Leading industry employers joined forces at the School Summit this week to showcase the huge diversity of fulfilling roles on offer in hospitality and tourism.

Policy Focus: People & Skills

This policy paper has been developed by HATS Network and the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance to communicate the current skills issues facing industry and to clearly outline the priorities and actions required for the industry to reach its full potential. It proposes collaborative actions between government, industry and delivery partners that are designed to transform perceptions of the industry and to attract, retain and develop talented people with the skills it needs both now and in the future.

HATS Network welcomes widened access to apprenticeships for all ages

The Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) Network has welcomed the announcement by the Department for the Economy to introduce All Age Apprenticeships – a move which will better support businesses in building the skills needed for growth.  

Wellbeing and Development Promise launched by hospitality and tourism industry

Developed by the UK Hospitality & Tourism Skills Board, the ‘Wellbeing and Development Promise’ is a UK wide initiative for the hospitality and tourism industry, to promote the wellbeing and development of staff within both sectors.

Collaborative skills action plan to be delivered by HATS Network as continued funding support confirmed

The HATS Network has received confirmed funding support from Invest Northern Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation to deliver on an 18-month skills action plan for the hospitality and tourism industry to tackle attraction and retention challenges. In the first phase of the plan, the network is launching a State of the Workforce Survey to identify emerging skills and workforce challenges.

Industry collaborates to transform perceptions of career influencers

Employers across the tourism and hospitality sector joined forces at an insight event for careers advisors and work coaches to shift perceptions of what it’s like to work in the industry and showcase the huge diversity of fulfilling roles on offer.

Make it Here Campaign

We're proud to be working in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland to deliver a dedicated campaign to change perceptions of working in our sector and attract and retain more great people.

The Make it Here campaign, which is live now and will run until June 2023, aims to not only shift perceptions of what it’s like to work in tourism and hospitality but also benefit employers by driving an increase in the overall number and quality of applications for roles and helping them retain the good people they already employ.

Impact report 2021/22

We’re proud of our journey and achievements over the last twelve months and we’re pleased to share our impact report for 2021/22

What matters to employees

Insights from employees across Northern Ireland’s hospitality and tourism sector on what’s important to them and the approaches businesses are taking to offer a better quality job experience.

Future leaders graduate from management & leadership programme

Eighteen ambitious team leaders and supervisors from across the hospitality and tourism industry have successfully completed a transformative training programme.

Tourism and Hospitality Team Leader Programme

20 fully funded places are available on the programme that is designed to motivate and develop top talent and responds to the current challenges facing the sector. The programme provides new skills, insights, tools and techniques to team leaders and supervisors to allow them to get the best performance from their team.

New webinar series launches to share best practices in recruitment & retention

HATS Network is releasing a new webinar series supported by Tourism NI to help businesses adapt their recruitment and retention practices in response to the skills and recruitment crisis the industry is currently facing.

New campaign launches to attract staff into hospitality & tourism

A major campaign has launched to boost perceptions of careers in hospitality and tourism, helping to attract new talent and tackle staffing challenges.

Industry employees asked ‘what matters?’

The Hospitality and Tourism Skills Network has launched the ‘What matters?’ survey to gain feedback from employees across the industry on what’s important to them and will make them stay working in the industry.

NEW guide on funded skills support launched

The Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) network has launched a guide on funded skills support available to help hospitality and tourism businesses retain talent through this difficult time and develop the skills needed for the future.

COVID-19: Impact on skills in tourism & hospitality

To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the skills needs of the toursim and hospitality industry across Northern Ireland, the Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) network in collaboration with People 1st International surveyed 376 employers across the sector. In these latest insights, three quarters of employers report that staff are feeling anxious and stressed, with their mental and physical wellbeing affected.

In a bid to restore consumer confidence and get their people up and running as they prepare to re-open, employers are taking a skills-led approach to both managing the transition back to work as well as being ready for customers.

Well over three-quarters of respondents say the ability of business leaders and managers to boost motivation, morale and productivity will be key. This means ensuring that managers are equipped with critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills, so that they can manage uncertainty as well as ensuring that their teams are engaged.

Key findings

Full report

Summary infographic

Key recommendations

Resilience in the aftermath of COVID-19 is key to the recovery of hospitality, retail, travel and aviation. Several short-term recommendations are emerging as critical factors to consider as businesses plan to re-open their doors.

Recommendations infographic

Become a member

Join HATS now to support industry growth and access a range of insights, best practice and guidance on available skills support to help you attract and develop talent.

To find out more, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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