With industries across the UK lobbying the government for a business-first immigration policy, Bacta has highlighted the association’s current options and long term plans for staff compliance training. But as operators prepare to rely more heavily on the UK labour pool, what other training programs are on offer for new staff?
Bacta has highlighted its staff training courses as the association continues to explore long term plans in preparation for potential staffing challenges following Britain’s departure from the EU. Reports of operators struggling to find the right staff have already emerged from some parts of the country, especially for seasonal businesses often facing a yearly rotation of employees.
“The industry clearly has concerns about the implications of Brexit on the availability of quality labour for our sector. Bacta has fed these concerns into government at the most senior level and are pleased they seem to be acknowledged,” commented John White, CEO of Bacta. “However, we are already seeing EU nationals deciding not to stay in the UK and it is expected there will be difficulty in getting labour going forward.”
White added that as operators move towards hiring a larger percentage of workers from the UK labour pool, staff training will be key in keeping an effective and well-prepared workforce.
“Bacta has long recognised the importance of training for staff and runs bespoke training courses for members on all aspects of compliance,” he explained. “If a member wants a training course, they can sign up staff and we’ll organise it for you at a very reasonable price.”
The course takes about a day to complete and new Bacta members can try the service for free. It focuses primarily on compliance in the arcade sector, but also brings in an array of different customer service skills.
“It’s principally for the AGC and FEC sectors, and the focus is very much on compliance with the LCCP,” continued White. “It also includes other important aspects such as how staff talk to customers – it’s all wrapped up and can be provided to the whole workforce. I’ve sat in on one – a member that operated a number of arcades across the south east – and there was 17 people there, but it can also be for one or two.”
The training courses are charged per person, but for a “very affordable” price. While they are effective tools for bringing staff up to speed, Bacta are researching further options for the future, with White explaining that the association “are very keen to develop longer term solutions to the industry’s training needs through apprenticeships or National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)”.
The only current such qualification is an NVQ in Gambling Operations, available through training provider’s City and Guilds and Pearson. The course offers training in four areas; bingo, betting, casinos and gaming machines, with only the City and Guilds qualification on offer before employment in training centres – of which there are just 13 across the whole UK. As Bacta explores the ways to increase accessibility of training outside of its own courses, more must also be done on encouraging young adults to want work in the sector – one of the six points in association president Gabi Stergides’ progressive plan released earlier this year.