British hospitality SMEs are facing the biggest staff skills shortage in its history, warned FSB member Rehan Uddin from Torquay.
Mr Uddin, who runs the Bombay Express in the town has warned that the hospitality and catering sector faces a crisis of recruitment.
He said: "Restaurants and hotels especially are finding it increasingly difficult to find trained kitchen and front of house staff. The reason? Passion and training. The new blood that enters the industry often find themselves victims of a lack of training in secondary schooling systems as well as primary education where home economics is non existent. In the "ready made world" now filled with automation the mode of teaching (city and guilds cookery 2009) is outdated and outmoded.
"I have tried to work with the local college to create a training facility for home grown talent to emerge. Cuts and redundancies within the college have led to two years of celebrity Indian chefs raising the profile of innovative cooking to the hospitality students to produce the next line of chefs for the industry fall like water through a colander.
"Based in Torquay where hospitality breathes through every nook and cranny, I find it hard to believe that we have no centre of excellence where we are producing a new workforce to feed the veins of the hospitality economy.
"The hotels are crying out for trained waiting staff with previous experience, so that not to look unprofessional in there approach. The restaurants require a brigade not a patchwork of just make do with what we have."