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Leisure: Training

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the chief executive of People 1st on the national skills strategy for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sectors on the account taken of environmental sustainability in the delivery of the strategy. (139950)

People 1st regularly attend the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Tourism Strategy for the 2012 Games. DCMS works closely with People 1st on improving skills and retention rates across the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries. Officials have regular meetings with their Chief Executive.

The industry-led National Skills Strategy (NSS) for England contains a Ten Point Plan of action to improve skills and retention levels. Research indicates that industry increasingly recognises the need to adopt sustainable practices and the NSS will take this into account in implementation and delivery. In particular, the UK Skills Passport, qualifications reform and the National Hospitality Skills Academy (Points 1, 2 and 8 of the Plan) are important developments which can help promote the sustainability agenda. For example, there are currently no publicly funded training programmes for sector businesses which reflect the trend toward a sustainable business approach and this will be considered as part of the wider qualifications reform programme and in the new and innovative programmes developed by the Skills Academy.

Sustainability will be fully integrated and built into the Department’s tourism policies and practices, including skills. This is a key theme running throughout our Tourism Strategy for the 2012 Games, due to be launched later this summer, which will balance the needs of visitors, industry, community and the environment.