The Hospitality Training Trust has announced it will help the hospitality industry weather the COVID-19 storm with a $1.37 million package for key industry associations.

Trust Chair Bruce Robertson said hospitality industry organisations were responding to unprecedented needs, which are stretching their resources and ability to keep providing essential support and advice to hospitality businesses.

“The hospitality sector in New Zealand is under as much pressure as it has ever faced in its history, so this is the industry helping the industry out. The extra funds will enable them to sustain and bolster their services to keep supporting hospitality businesses to survive and recover,” Robertson said.

“I’d like to think it will be significant in ensuring that the associations are able to retain the capability to deliver the services, benefits, advice and support that their members and non-members need right now, which without the support of the Trust they might not be able to do.”

The Hospitality Training Trust, which normally allocates about $120,000 a year from interest on investments to fund training initiatives, will draw on its reserves for the special grants.

“The trust is about training, skills development, and building resilience and capability in the sector, and in the current situation the best way we can help the sector is through the industry associations’ expertise and reach.

“We have built up the Trust’s reserves through good investments and this is our rainy day, so this is the best way we can help the industry weather the storm we are in and continue to build skills and capability.”

The package will be shared by: Hospitality New Zealand, the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Holiday Parks New Zealand, the Tourism Industry Aotearoa and the New Zealand Chef’s Association — with the individual grants based on membership numbers.

Holiday Parks New Zealand Chief Executive Fergus Brown said the package would shift his association from a precarious position to being able to more actively assist members.

“We have been going through the budgeting process, and had looked at chopping a lot of what we consider to be essential activity so this takes the association out of survival mode and puts us in a position where we can once again be proactive — to ensure we have the capability to help our members stay afloat, and to keep them in profitable, safe businesses,” Brown said.

“We are a small industry funded organisation with limited reserves and the demand on our reserves would have put us in a very precarious position. This will give us the ability to carry on with new vigour.” The Trust has also announced $76,000 of training grants approved for 2020, awarded to: Renard Group, DINE Academy, YoungTec, Turning Tables, and Vegetables.co.nz & the Heart Foundation.

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