Sharpening skills in Lancashire’s hospitality sector

Hospitality businesses must keep standards high to achieve good customer satisfaction rates, but committing the investment to quality staff training isn’t always easy.

Beth Higson and Stuart AspinThis is especially the case in a fast-paced sector where it can be hard for hotel and leisure businesses to get and, most importantly, keep hold of team members with the right skills.

However, help is at hand in the form of Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) - a £5.6m funded skills programme available to leisure and hospitality businesses in Lancashire.

LSS offers businesses access to free training and qualifications, delivered directly to eligible members of their workforce by some of the county’s foremost colleges and training providers.

For hospitality businesses, training is available in areas such as customer service, food safety, business administration and team leading.

Amanda Melton, chair of the Lancashire Skills Board, said: “Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce was our response to businesses across Lancashire telling us that skills gaps were the biggest barrier to their growth. Businesses should view this as a real opportunity to upskill their workforce to achieve their growth plans.”

LSS was developed by the Lancashire LEP and Lancashire County Council and is funded by the European Social Fund.

All businesses have to do to apply for support is fill in a short form on the Lancashire Skills Support website or call 0800 488 0057.

Achieving customer service excellence with Lancashire Skills Support

Stanley House Hotel and Spa secured leadership and management training for three new staff members through Lancashire Skills Support, while 17 other team members gained customer service accreditations.

The training, delivered by The Via Partnership, has benefited staff members from the hotel’s reception, housekeeping, maintenance, wedding planning and restaurant teams.

Philip Wharton, general manager of Stanley House Hotel and Spa, said: “We are committed to enhancing the overall customer experience. Our strength is in our people which is why we have invested in training across the board.” The Level 2 Team Leading training comprised a one-day course followed by a written assignment allowing each learner to achieve the accredited qualification. The customer service programme involved learners attending the Welcome Host Gold one-day course which gave them the knowledge to complete the Level 2 Award in Customer Service Delivery.