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Welcome to the latest news and updates from the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, your hub for business insights, events, and developments in the Cumbria region.

Banging the drum for skills in the Visitor Economy

We catch up with Cumbria Tourism, to find out how they’ve been putting the findings of their LSIP research into action.

We catch up with LSIP partner Cumbria tourism on their advocacy work on visitor economy skills

In delivering the LSIP, Cumbria Chamber is working with a range of industry specialists and other Employer Representative Bodies (ERBs), focussing on specific sectors. 

Leading on the Visitor Economy is Cumbria Tourism. We caught up with Rachel Tyson, Head of Partnerships & Projects at Cumbria Tourism, to find out how they’ve been putting the findings of their LSIP research into action. 

“Cumbria’s Visitor Economy has faced significant challenges over the past few years, namely Covid and the loss of European workers after Brexit. 

Our research shows the impact these challenges are having on local businesses. 79% of businesses now say that they struggle to recruit enough staff and 58% of businesses say that they are struggling to keep the staff they have. For almost half of businesses (46%) a lack of staff is forcing temporary or partial closures. 

Against this backdrop, we were shocked to hear rumours that the Government was planning to defund Level 3 Travel and Tourism qualifications and that the development of the promised T Level in Catering and Hospitality was delayed and that it might not happen at all. 

We jumped into action and raised this issue with MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron, who secured us a meeting with Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan. 

It was a really productive meeting and we were reassured that no qualifications would be cut without something to replace them and that the T Level in Catering and Hospitality that was due for launch in 2025. 

Since then we have continued working with the Department for Education as well as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Gatsby Foundation to get further clarity on the Government’s strategy for tourism and hospitality qualifications, which is vital for solving the skills challenges faced by our industry.”

In addition to working to influence policy at a national level, Cumbria Tourism has been working to improve things locally with the new Tourism Talent Hub.

“Our LSIP research also unearthed some of the issues learners were having when accessing qualifications. With information on courses spread between different training providers, people didn’t know where to go. There’s also an issue with the perception of careers in hospitality, with some thinking that jobs in tourism were just a stop-gap or a weekend job. 

The  Tourism Talent Hub aims to solve these issues by bringing together a wide range of career and training opportunities in a truly coordinated way for jobseekers of all ages. It helps match people with new career opportunities, highlighting the different ways they can gain industry experience, train on the job and potentially progress into senior positions.”

To find out more about the Tourism Talent Hub visit: www.tourismtalenthub.co.uk


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