Skip to main content

Skills Investment Plan for tourism launched

5 March 2013

  • Tourism
  • Skills Investment Plans
  • SDS Press Release Archive

Skills Investment Plan for tourism launched.

A new plan to help attract more people to work in Scotland's tourism sector and develop further skills has been launched by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing.

With 2014, when Scotland will host the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, fast approaching getting new people into the sector and developing good leaders are industry priorities. At the signature conference for Scottish Tourism Week the Minister launched a new Skills Investment Plan which supports the National Tourism Strategy (Tourism 2020, The Future of Our Industry, In Our Hands).

The plan has been developed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Skills Development Scotland, working with industry partners Scottish Tourism Alliance and the Tourism Skills Group.

Consultations with tourism employers, stakeholders and partners have identified four strategic skills priorities:

  • improving management, leadership and enterprise in the sector
  • ensuring staff have the skills to deliver a high quality visitor experience
  • raising the attractiveness of the sector to new entrants
  • ensuring the availability of appropriate and high quality training.

Launching the Skills Investment Plan for Scotland's Tourism Sector, Mr Ewing said: "As we prepare the nation to welcome the world to Scotland in 2014, ensuring employers can access the training they need is more important than ever. Strong leadership and management from the tourism sector are vital to build on the success of campaigns like Brave and the current Year of Natural Scotland.

"Tourism is one of the leading growth sectors of the Scottish economy, currently employing around 185,900 people across more than 13,000 businesses. With record investment, the sector has set ambitious growth targets and aims to increase annual visitor spend of between £5.5 billion and £6.5 billion by 2020, growth in the region of £1 billion.

"The Skills Investment Plan provides a cornerstone for enhancing skills within the sector and it is a wonderful example of successful public and private sector collaboration, with all partners working together"

Chris Brodie, Key Industries Manager at Skills Development Scotland said: "Each and every time you visit a Scottish tourism attraction, be it a hotel, café, museum, festival or event, you should feel inspired by the high-quality authentic experience and excellent service you receive.

"Delivering the Skills Investment Plan depends on the sector working together and making a commitment to develop skilled and passionate people. We need to take advantage of the major tourism opportunities we have in 2014 and use the Skills Investment Plan as a conduit to raise standards even further in the future."

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said: "The tourism industry through the Skills Investment Plan is determined to make a difference in terms of the consistency of the service delivered in the sector. It is all about delivery of excellent service through training, focusing on understanding the customer's expectations.

"Scotland's tourism industry is broad and varied and includes businesses in hotels and accommodation, bars and restaurants, tour operators, museums, visitor attractions and other sports and recreation activities. The industry provides wonderful opportunities and I look forward to the Skills Investment Plan delivering on these objectives."

Ian Whitaker, Chair of the Scottish Tourism Skills Group and Chief Executive of CairnGorm Mountain Ltd said: "Over the years the number of opportunities for young people within the tourism sector has grown enormously and we are keen to ensure that future generations of young people are equipped with the skills required to grow the sector and build on our international reputation as a leading tourism destination. Developing these training opportunities will help to ensure that tourism is a stronger career opportunity for young people.

"Given the importance of the strategic messages within the National Tourism Strategy, it is key that this is backed-up by a clear focus on the skills and training required to take the sector to the next level as we move towards 2020."

You can find out more about the Skills Investment Plan for the Tourism Sector, and download a copy of it, on the Our Skillsforce website.