Hospitality Skills Toolkit

History of the Project


Origins of the Toolkit

Launched in April 2014, the UK Futures Programme is an investment programme run by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) – an investment fund jointly funded by UKCES with the Department for Work and Pensions that aims to tackle major labour market challenges through testing, trialling and demonstrating new ways of working.  A series of competitions was run, aimed at specific workforce issues. One of these was to develop an employer-led solution to improve progression pathways for low-paid workers in the retail and hospitality sectors. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall secured funding from UKCES to create a pioneering project with partners Watergate Bay Hotel, St Austell Brewery, Cornwall College and Visit Cornwall.

A bit about the Expert Grow Partners:

Fifteen Cornwall is a restaurant making a difference through its award winning training, its use of local, sustainable produce and its contribution to the Cornish economy.  Fifteen Cornwall’s profits go directly to the Cornwall Food Foundation to support disadvantaged apprentices and community outreach programmes.

Matthew Thomson, Chief Executive of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall and the Cornwall Food Foundation, said, “We are thrilled to have been invited to work with UKCES.  The hospitality industry is central to our regional economy and we need thriving, professional hospitality businesses to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth in Cornwall and beyond.  Companies flourish when the people who make them are well rewarded and can shape their own careers.  Our partnership of progressive hospitality businesses is keen to make a difference across the south-west and we would love to hear from anyone with the same ambition.”

Set on its own spectacular surfing beach on the north Cornwall coast, Watergate Bay Hotel has earned a reputation as one of the ‘must visit’ coastal destinations in the UK.

Will Ashworth, Managing Director of Watergate Bay Hotel said “Hospitality is a corner stone of the Cornish economy, and we want to encourage talent into the industry as a career for life.”

St Austell Brewery are one of the South West’s top regional brewers. They brew over 100,000 brewers barrels annually, run over 170 pubs, hotels and inns and are the leading supplier to the licensed wholesale free trade market in the region.

James Staughton, Managing Director of St Austell Brewery said “We are delighted to be part of this project.  Our businesses are crying out for new talent and we must work together to demonstrate that the hospitality sector is great for careers and skills with fantastic opportunities in Cornwall for professional and business development.”

The Cornwall College Group is one of the largest training organisations in the South West region, supporting almost 40,000 learners across 8 sites including Duchy College, Cornwall College, Falmouth Marine School and Bicton College. Our proven track record of over 10,000 apprentices in the past ten years makes us the most successful provider of apprenticeships in South West England. We are a Career College for the South West with the core purpose of ‘Making Learning Work’.

Miriam Venner, Cornwall College Director of Cultural and Visitor Economy said “The Cornwall College strategy is all about enabling businesses to lead professional vocational training and we intend to use this project to show the hospitality sector in Cornwall just how far we can go in helping them drive business growth by investing in their people.”

Visit Cornwall is a Community Interest Company and operates as a private sector trade organisation. Visit Cornwall is responsible for growing Cornwall’s visitor economy by continually developing awareness of Cornwall to existing customers and new markets, through destination marketing, digital marketing and PR activities.

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall said “Tourism depends on great service and Cornwall depends on tourism. By growing people and businesses this project can make a real difference to the visitor economy. Visit Cornwall is proud to be part of it.”

Employer Engagement

To date, the project has successfully engaged with 11 hospitality businesses in prototyping practical tools and the professional development toolkit. By engaging with businesses early on in the project, we have been able to receive feedback and ensure that the tools and toolkit are fit for purpose and user-friendly. It has also enabled us to see the toolkit in use in real businesses and view the effect it has had on business development and the personal professional development of staff.

We are extremely grateful to these businesses for being involved in this project from so early on and would like to thank them for their support.

  • The Park, Mawgan Porth
  • Red Hotels
  • The Sands Resort
  • Hubbox
  • The Ship Inn
  • Mother Iveys Bay holiday Park
  • Steins
  • St Mawes Hotel
  • The Headland Hotel
  • Carlyon Bay Hotel
  • Victoria Inn