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Addressing the skills gap

Tourism is the fourth largest sector in the North East and is England’s third largest employer. It is worth £5.4bn to our regional economy and supports more than 58,000 jobs.

14,000 more people were employed in the sector between 2021 and 2022, up 32% but still down 7% on pre-pandemic levels. Despite the acceleration of tourism recovery, figures show that the sector still employs 5,000 fewer people than in 2019. Addressing this skills gap is one of the biggest challenges facing our regions visitor economy.

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Building a more resilient tourism industry

We need to build a more resilient tourism industry and as the first-ever Destination Development Partnership pilot we have ambitions to double the size of the visitor economy over the next 10 years, which has the potential to create and support an additional 25,000 jobs.

Destination North East England will support the sector to build back better with a more productive and resilient tourism industry and workforce. These means an industry employing more UK nationals in year-round, quality jobs, supported by the government’s skills agenda.

Addressing the skills gap and developing a pipeline of future talent will be critical to accelerating our region’s growth potential.

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So, what are we doing about it?

To address this head on we have commissioned a comprehensive survey to provide the intelligence to better understand the complex skills issues and emerging workforce challenges. This will then inform interventions and initiatives to address the challenges the sector is facing.

Recruitment and retention issues have been a recurring concern and by working together we can ensure that our industry is equipped with the skills it needs to thrive.

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Useful Information

Did you know?

  • In 2022, there were almost 26,000 unique job postings in 2022 in hospitality in the North East, with 30% of those in Newcastle.
  • Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries and is one of the main drivers of economic recovery.
  • Only 37% of visitor economy businesses across the UK believe the training and development opportunities on offer meet the skills needs of employees (People 1st International).
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