People 1st, the hospitality body that champions sector employment and apprenticeships, has been placed into administration.
Business restructuring firm FRP Advisory is understood to be handling the administration after staff at the organisation were informed yesterday.
People 1st was regarded as a key player in the industry for its work in delivering apprenticeships, talent management solutions and training.
It was one of the main voices behind a campaign to increase the number of chefs working in the industry after research found that as many as 11,000 chefs will be needed in the next five years.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of industry trade association UKHospitality, described its administration as “unfortunate news for the sector”.
She said: “First and foremost, our sympathies are with everyone at People 1st and we appreciate the very valuable work they have been doing for the hospitality sector. UKHospitality is ready and able to step into the space and support in any way we can, to provide some continuity until a permanent solution is found. Above all, the government needs to be aware of the issue and ensure that its future actions do not undermine the development of skills in the sector and put the country’s valuable hospitality businesses at a disadvantage.”
Mrs Nicholls added that the situation throws into sharp relief the “extremely pressing need” for skills to be prioritised as part of a sector deal for UK tourism.
“In the meantime, we need a Brexit immigration policy that will give the sector time to address its skills and labour needs,” she added.