The outline business case (OBC) for the first specialist tourism skills hub in Wales has recently been approved by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board. With agreement from the Board, the project can now move to develop a full business case – the final phase in securing Growth Deal funding before implementation.
The Tourism Talent Network, a project led by Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, aims to transform the approach to developing skills for the tourism and hospitality industry in North Wales. By coordinating public and private sector action on training and product development, partners aim to promote the growth of the sector in the region with a particular focus on sustainability.
Cllr. Charlie McCoubrey, Leader of Conwy County Borough Council, is the Lead Member on the Ambition Board for the Agri-food and Tourism Programme, he said:
“We were pleased to approve the OBC for this project at our last meeting. It is an important step and one which will contribute to developing a vibrant and more resilient foundation economy in the region, making the most of opportunities for employment through our culture, environment and landscape.
“The Tourism Talent Network represents a total investment of £12.88m in education and training infrastructure within a sector which is a key part of our economy. Around 100 tourism and hospitality businesses across the region are set to benefit through an upskilled workforce with a projected 68 new jobs created and 250 apprenticeships supported.”
Lawrence Wood, Principal of Coleg Llandrillo, explained:
“We are pleased that the project has reached such an important stage as we aspire to create a unique Hospitality and Tourism education and training network across North Wales.
“Collaboration between a new Centre of Excellence at Coleg Llandrillo and state-of-the-art training facilities at our exceptional partner locations will provide the sector with a high-quality workforce enabling economic growth and innovation.”
The project will put the necessary infrastructure in place to deliver training and apprenticeships with an emphasis on innovation and culture as well as sustainability. A state-of-the-art training Hub at the Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Rhos-on-Sea campus will deliver specialist qualifications for the tourism and hospitality sector. This will be supported by a regional network including the National Trust, Portmeirion Cymru, Snowdonia Hospitality & Leisure and Zip World, providing opportunities and expanding the scope of apprenticeships available across the region.
Robin Llywelyn, Managing Director, Portmeirion Ltd:
“The capital investment created by the North Wales Growth Deal will enable Portmeirion Ltd to develop an apprenticeship programme in purpose-built facilities. It will be aimed at developing management and leadership skills for local people to enter the hospitality industry at a senior level, leading to a higher skilled workforce and to more sustainable jobs. At the same time it will be raising the profile of the industry and showcasing the many excellent career opportunities that exist within the sector.”
Jeremy Barlow, Assistant Director Operations Wales, National Trust:
“National Trust Cymru are delighted to be part of this partnership. It will bring opportunities and skills for young people looking for employment in one of the many careers needed to look after the amazing places in our care and to ensure visitors have a great experience.”
Glenn Evans, Managing Director, Snowdonia Hospitality & Leisure Ltd
“We are delighted that the dedication and perseverance of Grwp Llandrillo Menai has been rewarded with successful Outline Business Case approval for the Tourism Talent Network. This vibrant, innovative and dynamic sector contributes so much to our local and rural economies and we are humbled to play our part in training and developing the next generation of entrants. The project will allow us to deliver transformational facilities alongside real world skilled apprenticeships leading to sustainable careers, integrated with a world class educational program.
“We thank Lawrence, Claire and all the team at Coleg Llandrillo for their continued hard work in turning a 2018 concept into an industry game changing project and shining a spotlight of excellence on North Wales’ hospitality sector.”
Andrew Hudson, Zip World’s Chief Commercial Officer, said:
“This exciting project, in partnership with Grwp Llandrillo Menai, couldn’t come at a better time as we plan for future growth whilst building upon our sustainable tourism offering. It will create the kind of world-class facilities our communities can be proud of and hopefully inspire the next generation of tourism talent.’’
The Tourism Talent Network project forms part of the Agri-food and Tourism programme of the North Wales Growth Deal. Its main objective is to build on the well-established agricultural, food and drink sector in North Wales, while also supporting further investment in high quality tourism.
Business cases are developed for each project within the Growth Deal in line with guidance developed by the Welsh Government and HM Treasury. Each OBC covers the project planning phase and identifies options which optimise public value following detailed appraisals.