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Over the last year, and in partnership with local hospitality businesses, UKHospitality has been holding Skills Challenges with Parliamentarians across the country to demonstrate the highly-skilled nature of a job in the hospitality industry, and to bust the myth that hospitality workers are low-skilled.

Challenges have ranged from Kevin Brennan MP working with Cardiff City FC and their catering department on a matchday, to Ian Mearns MP preparing a duck at the fine dining restaurant ‘Six’ in Gateshead. 

We have had a number of MPs take part and our aim is to show every Parliamentarian first-hand the joy of working in hospitality.

As well as showing off the great opportunities hospitality can offer we have been using these meetings to call on the Government to:


  •  reduce the SME contribution to apprenticeship training to zero and increase the apprenticeship levy top-up from Government to 25%;
  • invest in college education, particularly in the areas of hospitality, catering and tourism;
  • match industry resources raised to promote careers in hospitality as committed to in the Tourism Sector Deal;
  • expand marketing for the Settled Status scheme to encourage greater take-up and make current EU citizens welcome in the UK;
  • provide additional resources to the Home Office to ensure it is able to meet demand


If you would like your local MP, MSP or AM to get involved please do write to them and let us know. Follow the UKHospitality Skills Challenge on Twitter #SkillsChallenge





 MPs who have taken part in the UKHospitality Skills Challenge include:

Tom Brake MP (Liberal Democrat) The Greyhound, Carshalton

Vince Cable MP (Liberal Democrat) The Turks Head, Twickenham

Stephen Timms MP (Labour) The Red Lion, East Ham

Damian Green MP (Conservative) The Curious Brewery, Ashford

Stephen Pound MP (Labour) The Duke of Kent, Ealing

Jo Johnson MP (Conservative) The Buff, Orpington

Liz Twist MP (Labour) The Bay Horse, Blaydon

Catherine McKinnell MP (Labour) The County, Gosforth

Ian Mearns MP (Labour) Six Restaurant, Gateshead

Louise Haigh MP (Labour) Springfield Tavern, Sheffield

Paul Blomfield MP (Labour) Springfield Tavern, Sheffield

Guy Opperman MP (Conservative) The Black Bull, Corbridge

Chi Onwurah MP (Labour) Banyan Bar, Newcastle

Kevin Brennan MP (Labour) Cardiff City Football Stadium

Glyn Davies MP (Conservative) Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, Wales


Yorkshire and the Humber


Northern England






Louise Haigh and Paul Blomfield joined us at the Springfield Tavern in Sheffield, serving drinks to customers, helping with food orders and speaking with staff about the quick career progression that a career in the hospitality sector can provide. 


UKH hosted MPs in hospitality venues across the North East. It was fantastic to see our sectors skills showcased throughout the day. Ian Mearns spent time in the Kitchen at fine dining restaurant Six, expertly preparing a duck for that days special. Chi Onwurah spent time in Banyan Bar, preparing an assortment of cocktails and learning how to free pour. Guy Opperman, Catherine McKinnell and Liz Twist each spent time in local pubs, interacting with customers, pouring difficult drinks and serving some food. 


If you want to arrange a Skills Challenge in this area, 

get in touch with the team.  









Stephen Timms spent time in the Kitchen at the Red Lion in East Ham, making a pizza for customers. Tom Brake and Vince Cable both visited their local pubs, working with staff to make an assortment of drinks, free pouring cocktails and making their own signature cocktails. Steve Pound MP went down to the cellar at the Duke of Kent, changing the barrel of beer. 


Damien Green joined staff at the Curious Brewery in Ashford, trying his hand at a few steps of the brewing process. Jo Johnson spent the afternoon in The Buff in Orpington, having to manage the bar at a busy period of the day and deliver food to customers. 



If you want to arrange a Skills Challenge in this area, 

get in touch with the team.  

East of England



If you want to arrange a Skills Challenge in this area, 
get in touch with the team



National regions










Wales is famed for its world renowned hospitality sector, which provides over 180,000 jobs across the country. Kevin Brennan went to Cardiff City Football Club and their catering department on a busy match day and tried his hand at making some of the matchday menu. Glyn Davies visited the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy Hotel, spending time behind the bar serving drinks for guests. 




If you want to arrange a Skills Challenge in this area, 
get in touch with the team







If you have a great story about the career progression of a member of your team, please get in touch.

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