Tourism and Hospitality — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:22 pm on 21st January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Lee of Trafford Lord Lee of Trafford Liberal Democrat 3:22 pm, 21st January 2015

I am grateful to my noble friend. According to the British Hospitality Association, at present there are 158,000 job vacancies in the hospitality sector, at all levels of skills. Given that figure, first, what are the Government doing to encourage the take-up by SMEs of apprenticeships and, secondly, is there not an opportunity here for a major partnership programme between government and industry—between the prisons and the hospitality sector—to provide a training bridge for prisoners, to give them hope and a career opportunity post coming out of prison? That would do something to turn and improve our appalling recidivism rates, in parallel to the Evening Standard’s excellent programme to encourage business start-ups in prisons.