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Skills and training for the hospitality sector: a review of issues

Baum, T.G. (2002) Skills and training for the hospitality sector: a review of issues. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 54 (3). pp. 343-363. ISSN 1363-6820

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Abstract

The role of skills and skills development through training in the contemporary economy is a matter of considerable academic and political debate. Public policy in many countries focuses on the development, through training, of what are seen as a high skills employment and business environment (Brown et al, 2001). At the same time, most developed or high skills economies also depend to a significant extent on an alternative economy based on what are loosely and pejoratively described as low skills jobs. Little critical analysis has been undertaken with respect to what such descriptors actually mean. This article addresses one sector of the â-˜low skillsâ-™ economy, hospitality. This article considers skills issues in relation to the hospitality sector. It draws upon the work of Noon and Blyton (1995) in applying their approach to the classification and analysis of skills within hospitality. The article also draws on Ashton and Green's (1996) critique of vocational education as a basis for understanding some of the problems inherent in skills development in hospitality. The article addresses the skills debate in hospitality in four key theme areas: the nature of work and skills in hospitality; de-skilling within the hospitality workplace; the technical/generic skills debate within hospitality; skills and the education/training process in hospitality.