Retreats Group Joins Forces with People 1st International to End the Skills Gap in the Hospitality Industry

People 1st International is a not-for-profit organisation helping both public and private organisations cultivate their ultimate workforce.

As an employer-led skills and quality assurance expert, they develop and quality assure industry relevant skills solutions in the UK and internationally and have developed a Voluntary Code of Conduct to further enhance the work that they do.

Retreats Group, which operates three of Wales’ leading luxury boutique hotels, Twr y Felin, Roch Castle and Penrhiw Priory, all located within the spectacular St Davids peninsula in Pembrokeshire, have long felt that recruiting and retaining team members is one of its biggest challenges. The sector faces a number of misconceptions, such as low pay, long unsociable hours, limited opportunities to develop and not offering long-term careers.  

Joining forces with People 1st Retreats Group hopes to change this perception and demonstrate that the hospitality industry can offer a positive career choice, with a good wage, good work-life balance and; training, development and promotion opportunities.

The group has always been an advocate of a providing a positive work environment, and is delighted, to not only sign the Code of Conduct, but to help promote it within the sector to encourage other businesses to adopt better working practices.

Paula Ellis, Group General Manager of Twr y Felin Hotel, Roch Castle and Penrhiw Priory said, “We fully support any initiative which demonstrates that working with the hospitality industry can be a positive and rewarding career choice. We have just a 6% rate of employee turnover, compared to the national average of 35% within the industry, and we accredit this to our determination to offer a positive working environment with the same benefits as any other industry.”

People 1st has also set up employer-led skills & quality boards within the hospitality, retail, travel and aviation sectors to bring together leading industry representatives to establish one employer-led strategic skills board in each industry.

The Hospitality Skills & Quality Board will drive the quality of hospitality apprenticeships, ensuring they remain fit for purpose, but also have a wider interest to align other workplace skills and vocational education activities in the UK.

Facilitated by People 1st, the board will operate a number of important sub groups which will be critical to achieve its objectives. 

Twr y Felin is a former windmill originally built in 1806 and is Wales’ first contemporary art hotel, Roch Castle is spectacular and dramatic, with panoramic views of Pembrokeshire, whilst Penrhiw Priory is a natural retreat, close to Whitesands Bay and St Davids Cathedral.


People 1st International is part of the Workforce Development Trust - a not-for-profit organisation helping both public and private organisations cultivate their ultimate workforce.