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New report identifies the importance of upskilling in attracting and retaining talent in the Irish Hospitality Industry

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(L-R) Eileen O’Connell, Interactions Research, Michelle Guthrie, Development Advisor, Skillnet Ireland, Niamh O’Malley, Network Manager Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, and Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Press release, November 20th, 2023: A new report from Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, one of 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Networks nationwide, and the Restaurants Association of Ireland has highlighted the importance of upskilling in attracting and retaining talent in the Irish hospitality industry.

Launched last week, the report found that through the continued development of micro-credential programmes Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet could play a leading role in the delivery of training in the computer/digital skills arena, including specific upskilling in areas such as finance and accounts, payroll, electronic reservations, social media, e-learning and more.

According to the research, employers need to be open to, and offer, a range of career path opportunities, as learning and development programmes in the workplace are key to securing new hires and developing existing talent. The study shows that the feedback, views, and experience of employers are also essential for identifying upskilling requirements for the sector’s growth and development.

The aim of the Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet is to grow Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality sector, by ensuring the skills and training needs of member businesses are adequately resourced. The network develops and delivers bespoke upskilling solutions for business owners, managers, chefs and front of house staff.

Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. In 2022, Skillnet Ireland delivered upskilling and training programmes, investing €70.2 million, to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers through its 70 Business Networks, across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

The in-depth report explores the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector’s workforce and provides actionable insights for businesses aiming to thrive in the face of ongoing challenges.

The hospitality industry was the first sector to be affected by temporary closures and layoffs during the pandemic and has grappled with a persistent skills shortage ever since. A 2021 Oireachtas report, on the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality and entertainment sectors, highlighted the departure of international staff returning home and employees transitioning to sectors like retail and distribution as significant factors affecting employment in the industry. As a result, businesses are faced with the urgent need to retrain, reskill, upskill, and source new personnel to meet evolving demands.

The research report, which had very strong engagement with over 800 respondents, examined the Irish hospitality industry’s diverse workforce through one-on-one interviews with industry leaders, in-depth focus groups with employees, and a comprehensive survey. This research led to the identification of six distinct employee segments, each with unique needs, attitudes and skills. The segments – including Future Star, Career Committed, Family Ties, Career Seeker, Career Mover, and Career Entrant – provide valuable insights of the industry’s workforce composition and what motivates each employee type.

The report recommends that a Future Star would benefit from role specific upskilling in areas such as revenue, accounts and/or food and beverage, while someone who falls into the Career Mover category could benefit from a micro-credential programme that would encourage them to stay in the sector.

To address these findings, the report includes comprehensive recommendations for hospitality sector businesses, including a review of learning and development planning, engaging in micro-credential programmes, revisiting recruitment strategies, implementing workplace coaching, conducting thorough analyses of past hires and digital literacy upskilling.

Welcoming the publication of the report, Niamh O’Malley, Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Network Manager, said: “We are thrilled to present this report, which not only highlights the challenges faced by the hospitality industry but also provides practical solutions for businesses to adapt, thrive, and create a skilled, motivated workforce. By understanding the unique needs of different employee segments and implementing tailored training and development initiatives, businesses can foster talent, enhance employee satisfaction, and achieve long-term success”.

Meanwhile, Michelle Guthrie, Skillnet Ireland Development Advisor, said: “The Irish hospitality industry has a well-established reputation for delivering top-class offerings and customer service. The Covid-19 pandemic impacted all businesses but the hospitality sector, in particular, is still grappling with a number of legacy challenges brought about by the public health emergency. This report thoroughly examines these challenges and provides comprehensive actions for businesses looking to futureproof their workforce. Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet is committed to supporting businesses, through targeted talent development solutions that address their most urgent needs.”

The report can be accessed online here:  https://www.rhskillnet.ie/the-future-of-irish-hospitality-attracting-retaining-talent/




Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet launches ‘VR Resolve’ Virtual Reality Customer Complaints upskilling solution

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(L-R) Michelle Guthrie, Development Advisor, Skillnet Ireland, Camille Donegan, Adaptas Training, Niamh O’Malley, Network Manager Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, Angelika Bryniak, Training & Events Executive, and Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Thursday 5th October 2023: Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, one of 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Networks nationwide, has launched a revolutionary customer service upskilling solution which harnesses the power and ingenuity of Virtual Reality (VR).

Tailored specifically for the hospitality industry, VR Resolve is an innovative VR customer complaints training programme. The hospitality industry has always recognised the critical importance of exceptional customer service and VR Resolve takes this commitment to the next level by offering a unique and engaging upskilling experience. This programme enables employees at all levels to hone their skills in handling customer complaints effectively, leading to improved guest satisfaction and loyalty.

Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet’s mission is to grow Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality sector, by ensuring the skills and training needs of member businesses are adequately resourced. The network develops and delivers bespoke upskilling solutions for business owners, managers, chefs and front of house staff.

Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. In 2022, Skillnet Ireland delivered upskilling and training programmes, worth €70.2 million, to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers through its 70 Business Networks, across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

VR Resolve allows participants to step into realistic scenarios and work through various customer complaints that could occur in a restaurant setting. Participants practice responding to complaints, making decisions, and seeing the direct consequences of their actions in a risk-free virtual setting.

Niamh O’Malley, Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Network Manager, expressed her excitement about these new programmes, stating: “We are thrilled to introduce VR Resolve, which marks a transformative leap forward in customer service training, providing hospitality professionals with an immersive and effective tool to master the art of addressing customer complaints with finesse and empathy. VR Resolve is a game-changer for the hospitality industry.”

Skillnet Ireland Development Advisor, Michelle Guthrie, said: “Skillnet Ireland is committed to addressing the skills needs of Irish businesses through cutting-edge, bespoke and flexible subsidised upskilling solutions. VR Resolve is a prime example of the Skillnet Ireland mission in action. By providing a safe space for learning and honing skills, this programme empowers staff to exceed guest expectations.”

Further information about VR Resolve and details about how to sign up for the programme are available on the Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet website: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/vr-resolve/

The Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet is funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Co-funded by the European Union. For further information on Skillnet Ireland please visit: https://www.skillnetireland.ie/




Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet launches new e-learning programmes designed to make businesses more efficient and profitable

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(L-R) Michelle Guthrie, Development Advisor, Skillnet Ireland, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland, Niamh O’Malley, Network Manager Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet and Angelika Bryniak, Training & Events Executive, Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Monday 25th September 2023: Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet, one of 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Network’s nationwide, has launched two new online training programmes designed to help hospitality businesses become more efficient and profitable.
The new Creating Continuous Improvements and Labour Forecasting and Scheduling programmes will help hospitality businesses to improve their processes, labour forecasting and scheduling methods, while reducing costs. The self-paced, e-learning programmes were developed alongside industry expert Agility Hospitality and offer restaurant and hospitality managers and supervisors the opportunity to upskill digitally, at a time that suits their busy schedules.

Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet’s mission is to grow Ireland’s world-renowned hospitality sector, by ensuring the skills and training needs of member businesses are adequately resourced. The network develops and delivers bespoke upskilling solutions for business owners, managers, chefs and front of house staff. Skillnet Ireland is the national talent development agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development. In 2022, Skillnet Ireland delivered upskilling and training programmes, worth €70.2 million, to almost 25,000 businesses and over 92,000 workers through its 70 Business Networks, across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet’s new online programmes are accessible anytime, anywhere. They include microlearning multimedia modules that are designed to be completed in just a few minutes. The modules include trainer led videos, images, text and downloadable documents. The programmes offer comprehensive curriculums that cover the core principles of Creating Continuous Improvements – including project selection, process monitoring, data analysis and installing changes – and the fundamentals of Labour Forecasting and Scheduling, including how to track productivity and manage a schedule forecast.

Niamh O’Malley, Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet Network Manager, expressed her excitement about these new programmes, stating: “We are excited to announce the launch of our two new e-learning programmes Creating Continuous Improvements and Labour Forecasting and Scheduling, designed to help individuals and organisations master business operations and labour scheduling principles in bite-sized, easily digestible lessons. This innovative approach to upskilling is set to change the way industry acquire essential skills for process optimisation and efficiency improvement.”

Skillnet Ireland Development Advisor, Michelle Guthrie, said: “Skillnet Ireland is committed to supporting businesses across the Irish economy, including those operating the highly competitive domestic hospitality sector, through the provision of subsidised upskilling programmes. Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet plays a key role in meeting the growing demand within the sector for concise, focused, and accessible learning solutions. The Business Network’s new e-learning programmes will allow hospitality businesses to remain competitive and grow.”

Further information about the programmes and registration details can be found online here:

Labour Forecasting & Scheduling: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/labour-forecasting-scheduling-elearning-programme/
Creating Continuous Improvements: https://www.rhskillnet.ie/training/bite-size-lean-modules/

The Restaurant and Hospitality Skillnet is funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and Co-funded by the European Union. For further information on Skillnet Ireland please visit: https://www.skillnetireland.ie/




Chef Academy Level 2 Graduation

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The final day of BaxterStorey /Brook Foods Chef Academy Level 2 took place last Friday 1st September. We were delighted to co-fund the development and pilot of this programme through out FD Co Creation funding.

Congratulations to the students who graduated! 🎓

🎓Alexander Melayil John

🎓Fernando Medeiros

🎓Humberto Santos

🎓Isabella Recchia

🎓Javkhlan Jamsran

🎓Patrick Fidelis

🎓Peter Nolan

🎓Paula Barrett

🎓Rachel Betts

🎓Shane Dowling

With Special Congratulations to Paula for winning ‘Chef of Year’!

They worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months, and demonstrated great proficiency and dedication in their learning and upskilling.

This programme focused on the following key topics: Basic Cookery, Supplier/Producer Visit, Bakery, Finance, Nutrition, Health & Safety, Practical Cookery, Foraging, Menu Design & Marketing.

The Restaurant & Hospitality Skillnet wishes all the graduates the very best in their future career development.

Click button below to view short video!