Just five hospitality industry employers have signed up to the Government's long awaited skills pledge, which commits them to offer Level 2 training to all their staff by 2010.
Hotel chains Exclusive and Paramount, McDonald's, School Food Trust and Taylor's Fish and Chips were among the 157 employers to sign the pledge, which was a key recommendation of the Leitch review into skills.
The British Chambers of Commerce insisted that smaller businesses would not be signing the pledge as they have different needs and outlooks to big companies.
Skills policy adviser Louise Potter said: "Our members find the pledge patronising. They will be wasting time signing something that doesn't mean much to them."
"Qualifications aren't necessarily the key for employers. They don't need the government telling them what to do," she said.
Her comments followed the statement from skills envoy Sir Digby Jones who claimed the launch of the initiave last week would be remembered as the day "millions of people's lives got better".
He also called on employers signing up to "take on" any business that did not - asking them to influence smaller firms and the supply chain to sign up.
Level 2 qualifications are the equivalent of five GCSEs at A-C grade.
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas](mailto:email@example.com?subject=Skills pledge) here.