Social Partners United: Education and Training are key for Future-Ready Hospitality Jobs

Brussels, 21 November 2023 – Against the backdrop of the European Year of Skills, HOTREC and EFFAT hosted an event at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels centred around the theme, “Education and Training: the driving force of skilled hospitality workers in Europe. 

Social partners stood united to position education and training as one of the solutions to tackle labour shortages and address skill gaps in the European hospitality sector. As members of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EafA), HOTREC and EFFAT encouraged the development of apprenticeship schemes at the national level. They called upon the European Commission to continue supporting these efforts, emphasizing that vocational education and training should be considered a primary career option.

 They stressed that close cooperation between governments, education establishments, and social partners is key to develop ambitious training strategies for tourism and hospitality staff, including the improvement of digital and sustainability skills.  

It is social partners’ goal to reshape perceptions among young people, urging them to view the hospitality sector as a fertile ground for career development. 

European Hospitality is missing between 10-20% of its workforce. Today’s event highlighted the importance of re-skilling and upskilling, with education and training emerging as one of the possible solutions to tackle this crippling crisis,” stated HOTREC President Alexandros Vassilikos. 

“Hospitality workers are the driving force of a crucial sector of the European economy, which functions as a catalyst of social inclusion by offering millions of young people their first job. Addressing the rapidly changing skills needs is paramount to the resilience and long-term sustainability of the sector”, stated President Malin Ackholt.

At the event, social partners seized the opportunity to underscore their collaboration within the European Social Dialogue as key to shaping attractive career paths in the sector.

Press contacts

Ms Alessia Angiulli, HOTREC Communications Manager 

Ms Maddalena Colombi, EFFAT Communication Officer


HOTREC is the umbrella association of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Cafés and similar establishments in Europe. It brings together 47 national associations in 36 European countries and serves as the voice of European hospitality. The industry counts 2 million businesses, 99% of them being Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), provides 10 million jobs and contributes to 3% of the EU GDP. HOTREC’s mission is to represent and champion the industry’s interests towards the EU and international institutions, foster knowledge sharing and best practices among its members to promote innovation and serve as an expert platform for the hospitality sector.


Created on 11 December 2000, EFFAT is the “European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture, and Tourism sectors and allied branches” (EFFAT/IUF-Europe).

EFFAT/IUF-Europe is an organisation of independent and democratic trade unions representing all workers in the Food, Agriculture, Tourism, and Domestic Workers sectors as well as other related sectors, services, and activities in Europe.

As the umbrella organisation of 116 national trade unions from 37 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 25 million workers towards the European Institutions, European industrial federations, and enterprise management.

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