Hospitality and leisure companies are among the best recruiters of apprentices, but more than half of young people are not aware of this route into the sector, according to research undertaken by Barclays.
At a time when hundreds of thousands of teenagers are deciding their futures, 55% of young people say they would consider applying for an apprenticeship, but most are not aware of the variety on offer within the hospitality and leisure industry.
However, while nearly 70% of young people know about the opportunities offered by traditional recruiters of apprentices, such as manufacturing companies, they are surprised that the same openings are available with hospitality companies.
Mike Thompson, head of employability programmes at Barclays, said: "Businesses and educators need to work together to ensure that young people know what is on offer, and how to access it. Of course, this ensures that businesses have an opportunity to bring in promising young talent, but just as importantly, it ensures no young person feels they are left without options."
Meanwhile, Career Academies UK, a charity which provides work experience for 16 to 19-year-olds through paid internships and workshops, is urging hoteliers to take on bright A level students who have been deterred from going to university because of the financial costs.
Research conducted by the charity showed that 38% of students are concerned that they may be unable to afford to pay university fees.
David Walker, policy director at Career Academies UK, said: "Hoteliers and guesthouse owners have a real opportunity here. Instead of seeing a 19-year-old job applicant as unwilling or unqualified to go to university, owners of hotel and guesthouse businesses looking to recruit should see them as enthusiastic, blessed with aptitude, enthusiasm and the 'can do' attitude that helps build businesses."