H&C News is delighted to publish Harry Murray MBE’s opening address to HOSPACE 2023 below.
I am delighted to warmly welcome you to HOSPACE 2023 and wish you all an enjoyable and interesting conference.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the significant role HOSPA CEO Jane Pendlebury and her team are playing in keeping the hospitality industry updated in changing trends & developments and providing learning programmes which delivers a return on commitment and investment and provides industry recognised qualifications in financial management and revenue management.
Jane and her team have arranged a well balanced and interesting programme with top hospitality leaders and sponsors covering some of the critical areas that are having an impact on the industry.
Thank you to all sponsors and exhibitors for your valuable support which contributes to the success of HOSPA and the professional development of its members and I ask all delegates to please take the time to network with you and visit those who have stands. During my address in 2021 and again in 2022, I discussed some of the problems and challenges facing the hospitality industry post Brexit and the pandemic, and pointed out the urgent need for strong leadership.
Global tourism is growing at an enormous pace and according to a recent Deloitte study, London is number one choice in Europe for investment in hotels, and as we have seen recently there has been billions invested in Raffles, The Peninsular, and Six Senses, and with more luxury hotels due to open during the next two years including, Mandarin Oriental, Rosewood, Waldorf Astoria, Park Hyatt. There will be an additional 1000 hotel rooms in London. New hotels have also opened in other major UK cities. With the billions investment spent on new hotels there has also been millions spent on refurbishing hotels like The Dorchester, Claridge’s, The Ritz, The Savoy and other leading hotels providing jobs and huge income for other industries. Chancellor please note.
On many occasions I have said that Brexit was a wake-up call for the UK hospitality industry in terms of the image of the industry and post the pandemic the industry was facing an unprecedented staffing crisis and had to find ways to change the image many people had of working in hospitality. People are the heartbeat of our great industry and we had to find ways to promote hospitality as a good career choice to schools, career advisors, parents, and young people.
I am delighted to say that after a great deal of hard work the hospitality industry is in good hands and can be justifiably proud of the huge progress that has been made during the past two years thanks to strong leadership by the leaders of the main hospitality associations.
Robert Richardson Chief Executive at the Institute of Hospitality has done an amazing job during the past two years. He has developed IOH branches, & a Youth Council he’s also working closely with other associations. Membership has increased to 15,000 + an increase of 18% and take up of their online training programmes have increased and they have applied for Royal Chartership to help hospitality appeal against other industries for the best talent.
The Master Innholders continue to promote the Master Innholders Scholarship, over 300 general managers have graduated from this programme during past 26 years at a cost of over £2M. The MI’s award-winning Aspiring Leaders’ Diploma to help develop the next generation of hospitality leaders continues to grow, and our host today Sally Beck launched the Hoteliers Charter when she was Hotelier of the Year in 2019 to help hoteliers change the perception of hotels. The Master Innholders 30th annual Hotel Leadership Conference in January will focus on pushing boundaries.
Kate Nicholls OBE who joins us today celebrates five years as Chief Executive at UK Hospitality. Kate has worked tirelessly to lobby government at every opportunity and her ongoing efforts has been recognised with numerous awards.
Springboard under the leadership of Chris Gamm has had a productive and exciting year working with 45,000 pupils from 661 schools. They supported 3,357 people through their Careerscope training programme converting 73% to securing work in hospitality. 14,173 students participated in Future Chef.
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, now under the leadership of CEO Lisa Jenkins continues to reach over 20,000 children every year in their Adopt a School programme, their Diploma in the Culinary Arts, Annual Awards of Excellence, Specialised Chefs’ Apprenticeship Programme continues to develop the next generation of leaders in the culinary arts.
This week a Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship programme commenced in partnership with the University of Glocester to help develop the next generation of managers. This initiative was launched in collaboration with leading hotels The Dorchester, JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Red Carnation Hotels and Park Plaza Hotels.
I would also like to mention the wonderful work of leading and highly respected hotelier Robin Sheppard President of Bespoke Hotels also here today who launched the Blue Badge Access Awards 8 years ago to raise the profile of accessibility in hospitality. This initiative goes from strength to strength to help provide access for the 16 million who have a disability in this country.
We can also be proud of the industry charity Hospitality Action under the excellent leadership of Mark Lewis which continues to drive fund raising to record levels, their bespoke Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a care package that provides peace of mind to employees and is helping many suffering mental health and other issues and by the end of this year they will spend a record £1 million in grant support for hospitality people suffering hardship.
Ladies and gentlemen, the hospitality industry is in good hands.