City & Guilds is launching its latest innovation in skills development: a global certification for the hospitality industry. The first of its kind in the world, the Global Hospitality Certification sets out a benchmark to help hospitality businesses around the world identify the unique skills of their staff, and help employees gain professional recognition. The Global Hospitality Certification, developed with Worldchefs, provides recognition of the on-the-job skills and experience gained by an individual against an international benchmark, in the form of a digital badge. These digital badges contain rich data about an individual’s professional experience, making their skills visible. For people who are considering a career in hospitality, as well as those already working in the sector who can sometimes have no clear understanding of the wide range of opportunities available to them, the digital badge provides essential information. Each badge is designed to be sharable using social media and links back to a secure online system so employers can verify the information through a single click. Building on the success of the global certification for chefs, the Certification has been extended to cover all four areas in hospitality: culinary, food and beverage service, front of house and accommodation. Jeremy Dahdi, Executive Director for International and Digital Credentialing, City & Guilds says: “Employers around the world tell us about the same two challenges: recruitment and the poor perception of the hospitality industry. The sector is not seen as an attractive career option, which has resulted in the current situation where there simply aren’t enough people for businesses to recruit. “With our strong footprint in the hospitality industry, our fantastic partnership with Worldchefs and our expertise in skills, we are well placed to help find a solution. That’s why City & Guilds has teamed up with leading employers to map out the hospitality sector’s key competencies so that we can make these skills visible. Using digital badges means that individuals are able to show their skills in a way never seen before.” Thomas Gugler, President of Worldchefs, says, “Given the high staff turnover in the industry, identifying and retaining talent can be a challenge for employers. With the Global Hospitality Certification, employers can invest in their staff and help futureproof their business, without having to change the way in which they operate. It is also a powerful way to show progression opportunities in the sector which will help employers attract talent into the industry and retain staff longer.” The global certification can be embedded into existing systems and processes as well as training programmes which have a work-place component. A badge can be earned to recognise time spent working in the industry and the skills developed and applied during this time. Liverpool City Region will be the first part of the world to pilot Global Hospitality Certification to build on-the-job progression routes into the hospitality sector via traineeships and apprenticeships. The pilot, in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and launching in February 2019, forms a key part of the city’s strategic skills plan which aims to put skills at the centre of the city’s economic ambitions. Jeremy Dahdi says, “We are always looking for new ways to bring more people into hospitality and the Global Hospitality Certification will help improve skills support growth in Liverpool. The support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership, the Liverpool Hospitality Association and the Mayor of Liverpool, has been invaluable and demonstrates their commitment to creating an environment of improved skills and opportunity. “We believe that the Global Certification can make a significant contribution to showing the fantastic career opportunities which exist in hospitality and also demonstrate that employers are willing to invest in their staff when the right tools are available to them. We cannot wait to get started with the Liverpool pilot and hope that we will inspire many other regions and countries to follow suit.’ Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, says, “Liverpool is famous for its friendliness and its warm welcome. That’s why I was happy to support and work with City & Guilds to develop a new global standard for the hospitality industry benefiting businesses and employees at every level. Most people think great hospitality happens by accident but here in Liverpool we are serious about how important the visitor economy is to us, and what we have to do to support the businesses and staff who provide Liverpool’s welcome to the world.” Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region says, “I warmly welcome this programme and the chance to work with City & Guilds to test out this approach. I have long highlighted that people have many more skills than their qualifications demonstrate, and this is a great way of recognising that. Our visitor economy is critical for the Liverpool City Region, contributing over £4bn to the economy and employing more than 50,000 people. There are great careers and opportunities for our people and this will help them to realise their potential.” Travel and tourism is the world’s single largest employer, with a predicted 73 million new jobs in the industry by 2022. By 2020, it is anticipated that 1 in every 10 jobs will be in hospitality, and these jobs require a range of skills from existing employees and the next generation of hospitality talent.