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HOTREC puts skills shortages at the core of the

EU political agenda

The hospitality industry is a critical sector for the EU economy, as its 1.8 million enterprises employs 10.2 million

people. It is also one of the few sectors which still recruits tens of thousands of employees every year.

A skills gap which prevents the sector from recruiting

Despite its excellent performances, the sector suffers from a skills gap, as it struggles to recruit the new

employees it needs, despite high unemployment in many EU countries. Indeed, while the average job vacancy

rate in the EU is of 1,7%, in the accommodation and food sector it reaches 3% in Belgium, 4.2% in Germany and

even 7% in Greece. This is largely due to a strong skills shortage (lack of digital skills, qualified chefs, knowledge

on foreign language and lack of qualified personnel to adapt to the different client’s cultural habits and needs).

HOTREC launched a campaign to raise the EU’s awareness on the skills gap

To overcome the problem, HOTREC launched an advocacy campaign aimed at placing the issue of skills

shortage at the heart of the EU political agenda by disseminating its message in high level conferences and

events organized by the EU institutions, such as: the “High Level Conference – Attracting investment in Tourism

(5 April 2016), the Conference on “Successfully finding and retaining apprentices” (20 June 2016), the HOTREC/

UEAPME joint event on “How to make SMEs a driver for job creation in the EU: the example of tourism” (30

November 2016), the European Business Forum on Vocational Training (8 December 2016), the Conference

on “Promote the necessary skills to develop the industry competitiveness (2 February 2017), the European

Commission hearing on a quality framework for apprenticeships (30 March 2017), etc.

As a result of this campaign, the European Commission released a study on “Mapping and performance check

of the supply side of tourism education and training” and its “New Skills Agenda for Europe”, which identify the

main skills gap in the tourism sector and propose solutions to address it. Besides, EU funds were specifically

made available to develop ERASMUS + and COSME projects to tackle the skills gap, improve the image of the

tourism sector or promote apprenticeship schemes and trainings all over Europe. A Council Recommendation

on the “Establishment of a quality framework for Apprenticeships” is also being prepared. HOTREC’s campaign

therefore resulted in concrete EU actions which will help overcome the skills gap and help hospitality businesses

grow further and create jobs.


to the development of concrete

EU actions which will help

overcome the skills gap and

help hospitality businesses grow

further and create jobs