Research from the lead body for the hospitality sector, UK Hospitality, has found that pre covid the sector, comprising of hotels and accommodation plus food and beverage service providers, contributed a significant 5% to UK GDP and is the third largest employer. As we all know the sector has been hugely impacted by the economic conditions created by the current pandemic and the second lockdown which, whilst being a necessity for public health reasons, caused further financial distress for many parts of the sector. The latest statistics claim that across the UK economy, in excess of 2 million people were on furlough at the end of October. ONS statistics released on the 9th November state that a record 314,000 workers were made redundant in the three months to September with the Accommodation and Food Sector reported with the highest rate of redundancies followed by the construction sector. We now know that the furlough scheme has been extended to 31st March 2021 from 1st November. Details have been made available on the Gov.uk website by HMRC with advice for companies seeking to enrol new participants on the scheme as well as guidelines as to how to bring back those that were made redundant as the previous scheme was expected to close at the end of October. This is very welcome news indeed although for some the news will have come too late to avoid widespread redundancy.
The hospitality industry has been amazingly resilient and creative during these very challenging times, reinventing itself to adapt to the everchanging conditions and in many cases providing support at a community level. However, the complexities of the extended scheme and the timing of the announcement mean that many will find themselves still facing redundancy or reduction in working hours. The commercial functions in the sector, in particular those working as finance specialists, have been facing challenges in the work place for some time with changing work environments arising from the growth of centralisation in the major hotel brands and the increasing use of technology to replace human roles. These changes are not unique to hospitality - the changes across the accounting profession are well documented by the professional bodies in the sector and indeed, can present new and exciting opportunities. To grasp these new opportunities managing your own professional development plan is essential. We recommend focusing on the following:
~ Create a plan for your professional development for 2021 - create a vision for your future and set your objectives
~ Enrol for short courses as well as longer study options - check out your professional association for details
~ Spend some time updating your professional identity on social media and comment on industry news and events to showcase your expertise
~ Network with your peers via trade bodies such as the Hospitality Professionals Association (www.hospa.org)
Do contact us if you would like to have a chat about your professional development needs - we are here to help!
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