A recent study predicts that the recovery in the '90s will bring with it the familiar shortage of trained hotel staff seen throughout the '80s, this time particularly among chefs and supervisors. The Hotel and Catering Training Company says that once other job prospects improve, the industry will again start losing - and need to replace - 13,000 staff a week. On top of this the current workforce of 2.4 million (9% of the UK total workforce) will need to be topped up with another 162,000 jobs by 1998. Less than one-third of these needs will be met by local catering colleges. British Hospitality Association head of personnel and training Elisabeth MacLeod expects the problem will be partly alleviated by incoming continental workers. "They all want to come here because they all know they will get the best training here," she says. The hitch is whether hotel training qualifications elsewhere match those in the UK an issue now under study. Another worry is: will UK hotels simply try to fill the gap with overseas recruits, rather than spend money training Britons? If so, it would be a mistake. Figures for 1989 show EC immigrants made up only 1.6% of the British workforce.
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