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UKHospitality Scotland chair discusses issues facing sector

Wayne-Wills took over as chairman from Loch Melfort Hotel owner Calum Ross in June. He has more than 25 years of senior management experience in the hotel and tourism industry and now works as Crerar Hotels chief executive.

In all his time in hospitality, Wayne-Wills said there has never been a more pivotal or critical time for the industry. I believed the sector needed a lot more recognition, both in Holyrood and Westminster parliament.

The biggest issue facing the sector, according to Wayne-Wills, was a chronic staff shortage which he believed to be a result of Brexit and a poorly thought-out immigration policy.

“We’ve increased rates of pay, we’ve increased training, we’ve increased apprenticeships and there’s still not enough people to do the job,” he commented.

He said the industry could look to recruit people who had retired for second careers. Flexible working weeks were important to this generation, said Wayne-Wills, who also offered long-term service awards and a ‘refer a friend’ programme, where staff could win money if they recommended a new recruit.

Discounts across Crerar Hotels’ spas, hotels and restaurants were also offered for staff as well as their friends and families.

“You need your team to be your greatest ambassadors,” said Wayne-Wills. “If they travel, they learn more about the other hotels and the destinations of the hotels, which means back at their base hotel, they can talk more confidently about the whole the whole portfolio and what they experienced as a guest.”

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