For the last ten months we have been partners in the EU.EM.NET network. This is a large- scale three-year project that aims to bridge the perspectives of employers and educators to improve the forecasting of skills requirements and the quality of vocational training in the tourism and hospitality sector across Europe.

Our international partners come from a range of sectors including public, education, private and voluntary and include employers, colleges and trade associations.  The network’s first meeting was in Bratislava, Slovakia on the 4th and 5th December 2012, hosted by the lead organisation, the Regional Development Agency Senec-Pezinok.  Amanda Francis and Imogen Slater represented Rinova at the second partnership meeting in Burgas, Bulgaria in June.

Pictured above:  Members of the EU.EM.NET partnership at the recent meeting in Bulgaria

We have just completed a research programme about the national context of each partner and in the UK.  Whereas in some countries the Tourism and Hospitality sector is well-developed and supported in relation to vital sector research, information and forecasting, such as the UK, this is not the case in the majority of the partner countries.

As part of the meeting, We had the opportunity to visit a vocational college in Burgas and meet some of the current catering and hospitality students (opposite). 

As one of the aims of EU.EM.NET is to promote better co-operation between employers and training providers, the network will provide a resource that will enable students like these to be fully prepared for careers in the industry.

Earlier this year the network launched a website – – which will be developed further over the next two years as the project develops its results.