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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 13:50 GMT
Tourist trade looks to unemployed
A hotel kitchen
Hotels will be promoted as a career
Tourist bosses in Glasgow plan to train unemployed people in order to fill 1,000 vacant hotel jobs.

Companies in the city have been finding it difficult to fill vacancies with properly skilled staff.

Firms say part of the problem is that the jobs are seen as badly paid with unsociable hours.

The measure was one of several key recommendations made in a five-year tourism strategy to reinforce the industry in the city.

Launching the strategy at Hampden Stadium, Eddie Friel, chief executive of Greater Glasgow Tourist Board, said the problem has grown from Glasgow's growing success as a tourist destination.

We have to present tourism as a first class career because it is still perceived as a poorly paid career
Eddie Friel, Greater Glasgow Tourist Board
"We currently have 1,000 vacancies in the hotel industry alone.

"We have to make sure we invest in young people who are currently not in employment.

"There isn't another industry where you can move to a management position more quickly.

"Where you start has nothing to do with where you finish.

"We have to present tourism as a first class career because it is still perceived as a poorly paid career."

New hotels have been springing up across Glasgow over the last three-and-a-half years.

Convention business

The amount of bed space has increased by 30% during that time and an extra 5,000 jobs have been created.

The boom is being driven by convention business, which has increased by 25% in the city this year alone.

Tourism Minister Mike Watson said: "We have to make tourism more of a career prospect than it seems at the moment.

"Some of the employers I feel don't value their staff enough.

"It is not surprising that many of them feel undervalued and leave the industry quickly.

Conference trade has been booming
"There is a clear gap that has to be filled and a heavy part of that burden does fall on employers."

There are some schemes already up and running which are proving successful, but Mr Friel denied there were too many strategies for tourism.

He said the proposals differed because they aimed to help unemployed people fill vacancies.

The Glasgow Tourism Action Plan outlines how nine developments at key city attractions, including the Kelvinhall Art Gallery & Museum and the Clydeside area, will be managed and detailed strategies for attracting further business.

Gillian Marles reports
"Glasgow has been the victim of its own success."

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29 Jan 03 |  Scotland
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14 Oct 02 |  Scotland

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