Taking Hospitality to new heights

“A collaborative initiative delivered by SERC in conjunction with industry, to help address challenges within the sector.”

Taking Hospitality to new heights

SERC working with industry to take hospitality to new heights

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A collaborative initiative delivered by SERC in conjunction with industry, to help address challenges within the sector.

With the chronic shortage of acute skills in the hospitality industry well documented, the College has launched an innovative initiative to help address unique challenges within the sector and promote the industry as a vibrant and rewarding career opportunity for young people.

The initiative aims to globally promote Northern Irelands exceptional food and best practice as well as showcase the varied and rewarding career opportunities that are available.


  • Work together to help employers tackle recruitment challenges
  • Bring a holistic and fresh approach from employers, training providers and government
  • Stimulate debate and collective action
  • Match the skills of the workforce with the bespoke skills employers need
  • Inform employers of recruitment alternatives such as apprenticeship programmes
  • Showcase and create a positive perception of the hospitality industry
  • Train, recruit and inspire current and emerging talent
  • Share existing best practice on how businesses can take a fresh approach to alleviate the shortage
  • Support new entrants to the industry
  • Harness new apprenticeships to reflect skills and raise professionalism
  • Enable participants to connect with local chefs, hoteliers and foodies from all sectors, at all stages of their careers, to learn, teach and inspire each other.

With over 2,000 chefs needed in Northern Ireland by 2024, and 30,000 vacancies in the hospitality industry, the programme is a welcome intervention to address the shortage.* 

Through the consortium we want to build and hopefully sustain a pool of high-quality talent that can help the industry to continue to compete globally and address the current challenges through management training and collective action.

SERC Principal and Chief Executive Ken Webb explains: "With Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector being one of our largest employers, supporting the sector is to everyone’s benefit. This initiative offers industry an opportunity to inspire budding chefs and hoteliers to consider a career in this vibrant industry. Tourism and hospitality here have gone from strength to strength in recent years and if we are to continue this growth then collaborative programmes such as this, providing an opportunity for employers to share best practice and drive change in the industry, will be vital to the development of the next generation of talent.”

With Northern Ireland winning ‘Best Food Destination’ at the International Travel and Tourism Awards 2018/19 and having celebrated the 2016 Year of Food and Drink there has never been a more opportune time to address the challenges within the sector head-on. 


SERC is currently generating momentum for the campaign by encouraging businesses large and small to get involved and help drive change within the industry.  

The initiative will officially launch 28 January 2020 at SERC Space Campus Castle Park Road Bangor from 12noon-2:30pm.

The event will be an opportunity to find out more about the programme and how you can get involved.  

If you would like to attend, please contact Michelle Rankin or Register Here

Email: MRankin@serc.ac.uk  

Telephone: 028 9262 6756.

*Source; Hospitality Ulster