The Government is in regular dialogue with the hospitality and tourism sectors and is aware of the recruitment and retention challenges facing businesses. The Hospitality Sector Council is actively looking at this issue and the Hospitality and Tourism Skills Board, which comprises businesses across both sectors, is considering ways to strengthen training.
We are also helping to fill vacancies through our Plan for Jobs programmes, which use work coaches to help match local talent with jobs in hospitality. Our sector-based work academy programme and flexible support fund, and various initiatives, are also encourag-ing jobseekers to look for opportunities in the sector. In addition, on 1 April 2023, the Gov-ernment increased the National Living Wage by 9.7% to £10.42.
The Government is also supporting six Private Member’s Bills which will improve workers’ rights and encourage more people into work. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act has now achieved Royal Assent meaning more than 2 million workers will have their tips protected when the measures come into force. This package of Bills will help new parents, unpaid carers, hospitality workers, and give employees better access to flexible working.
The Government is continuing to improve apprenticeships, making them more flexible and making it easier for employers to make greater use of their levy funds. The catering and hospitality sector serves up a host of different apprenticeships in restaurants, cafés, pubs, bars, nightclubs and hotels, including for example chef de partie.