Cork ETB and the Irish Hotels Federation team up

Monday, March 15, 2021.

Cork ETB and the Irish Hotels Federation team up to launch Leadership programmes for Hospitality and Tourism employees

The Cork Training Centre operating under the remit of the Cork Education and Training Board (Cork ETB) has teamed up with The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) to launch two new upskilling programmes for employees in the hospitality and tourism sector to help support recovery and growth.

As a major employer in Ireland, the hospitality and tourism sector has identified the need to retain key talent, develop leadership capability to rejuvenate businesses for recovery and growth and upskill and reskill to develop agile skills for employment.

With that, Cork IHF members were recently invited to partake in the Developing Leadership Programme available through Cork ETB’s Training Centre, with state funding provided by SOLAS through the Skills to Advance Initiative. Commencing this month, and designed with a flexible, modular approach in recognition of current challenges the sector is facing, the programme is subsidised and those continuing to work are eligible for participation in the programmes.

Launched by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris, The Developing Leaders for Hospitality and Tourism programme will upskill team leads and supervisory staff in critical areas including operations, finance, systems, and people management.  This programme is part of the National Skills to Advance Further Education and Training Initiative, which supports employers to develop their workforce and employees to avail of upskilling and reskilling opportunities.

The programmes were developed by SOLAS and the ETBs in partnership with the IHF, Fáilte Ireland and the Regional Skills Fora and offer hotels in Cork the opportunity to develop their team and help to entice new people into the industry. 

The focus is on developing skills to future proof the workforce in vulnerable occupations, businesses and sectors is central to the strategic mission of the Skills to Advance Initiative. Flexibility is assured both in programme content and delivery schedules to meet the sector’s requirements.

Cork ETB have created a dedicated team for the programme in order for employers to have a single point of contact.  Fiona Sneddon is the Further Education and Training Centre Manager for Cork ETB and as her background is in Hotel Management she is ideally placed to understand the challenges hotels face and provide practical training supports to help get them back up and running. 

Speaking in relation to the launch of the programme, Ms. Sneddon said:

“We understand the challenges the hotel industry is facing and know there will be even more pressures on hotels when they reopen, so we have designed this programme with a flexible modular approach.  The modules we have selected to start with are timely and we have already collaborated with industry on these. We also have numerous training facilities available at our hospitality campus and our team can assist with analysing training needs across each hotel.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Tim Fenn, Chief Executive of the IHF said:

“Our members remain committed to providing opportunities for career advancement and supporting continued professional training and development for their teams. With our global reputation for hospitality and proven quality product, Irish tourism will recover from the pandemic. Hotel teams will play a critical part in this and so it is important to facilitate them with flexible ways to enhance their skills and achieve recognition for their qualifications. We encourage full support for this important and timely Skills to Advance Initiative.”

Cork ETB, SOLAS and their enterprise partners encourage employers across the Hospitality and Tourism sector to avail of this opportunity to upskill team leads and supervisory staff at this critical time for business recovery. Employers across the county and country will benefit by having access to local high-quality training to deal with the new business environment, its challenges, and opportunities.

Further information is available at, at and or by contacting Cork Education and Training Board’s Cork Training Centre directly on 021 4856200 or  [email protected]

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