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Think Again survey – is a career in hospitality the right choice?

18 July 2012

As part of the Think Again campaign Caterer and Hotelkeeper asked 160 industry professionals how they view their industry and how they think others view it. Here are the results…

Employees in the hospitality sector feel well-rewarded and fulfilled in their careers, but do not believe that the outside world views the industry with the same eyes, making it harder to recruit young talent.

That's the key finding from a new survey by Caterer and Hotelkeeper as part of the Think Again campaign, in partnership with recruitment specialist and vocational training provider Lifetime, supported by industry charity Springboard.

The survey of 160 hospitality professionals revealed that an overwhelming 83% feel they are in a fulfilling career, while 60% think they are well-rewarded. A total of 64% said they would encourage their own children to go into the industry.

Despite that, the vast majority (93%) think the hospitality industry suffers from a skills shortage, and 78% think young people are currently discouraged from entering the hospitality sector by teachers, careers advisers and parents.

Meanwhile, there were also concerns among nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) that there was not a sufficient number of good quality apprenticeships in the sector.

The results of the survey support Caterer and Hotelkeeper's decision to launch the Think Again campaign, which aims to highlight the excellent opportunities a career in hospitality can offer.

Caterer and Hotelkeeper group editor Mark Lewis said: "This confirms what we have long believed - that the hospitality industry offers enjoyable, fulfilling careers and high levels of job satisfaction.

"At a time when youth unemployment sits around one million, it seems more important than ever to encourage young people to consider a career in hospitality."

Engage with young people
"Over the next several months we will work towards making the case for this industry to them, as well as doing all we can to encourage operators to engage with young people and show them what is on offer."

Commenting on the results of the survey, James Bennett, marketing communications manager at Lifetime said: "The results show a real pride in the industry, but the perception there is a lack of skilled work highlights the integral role apprenticeships have to play.

"Apprenticeships offer a real opportunity for employers to start addressing the existing skills shortage, while at the same time giving young people career prospects in a sector which is both fulfilling and rewarding for them to work in."

Anne Pierce, chief executive of Springboard, said: "There are some powerful messages in this research, reinforced by the overall findings from our perceptions research with young people of school leaving age, which showed that 82% don't know what they want to do when they leave school.

"However, 53% would positively consider a career in hospitality - which is counter to the view that young people are not attracted to the industry."

What more can be done to encourage young people to consider hospitality as a career?

â- "More good publicity and not showing it as the ‘holiday job' most people consider it to be."
â- "Approach local schools/colleges and either invite them to your property for a show round and a chat or you visit the school/college and talk about your property and the industry."
â- "Better and more involved apprenticeships. Colleges working more closely with the industry so the students get real experience, early on."
â- "We need to engage with careers advisors and teachers in order to highlight the positive and rewarding nature of our industry."
â- "Change people's perception of uneducated and unintelligent people working in hospitality."
â- "Give them more job skills that have a qualification attached, eg NVQs, college courses. Change the perception that hospitality is only something you worked in because you're too stupid/lazy to find something else."
â- "Young people need to be aware that the hospitality industry is an amazing career choice, full of fabulous experiences and opportunities, but the rewards are for the passionate and hard working."

The Caterer and Hotelkeeper interview - Anne Pierce >>

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