Springboard CEO Anne Pierce (pictured) has called on the hospitality industry to come together to tackle the ‘misguided perceptions' parents have about careers in the sector.
Speaking at The Caterer's Foodservice Forum last week, she responded to a recent survey from hotel group Best Western, which found 42% of parents would actively discourage their children from working in hospitality.
Pierce, who has spearheaded campaigns to promote hospitality as a career of choice with Springboard since 1997, suggested there is a disparity between the views of young people and their parents.
According to research carried out by the charity last year, 54% of young people looked favourably at pursuing a career in hospitality.
The Best Western survey cited long hours and bad pay as the main reasons behind parents' negative perceptions of the industry.
Pierce said: "Hospitality offers excellent career progression routes and great pay potential. Parents are wrong to think that pay is low, and the industry needs to take a role in challenging this."
Pierce explained that restaurant managers can earn £30,000 after a few years of experience, while salaries for hotel professionals can exceed £100,000. By comparison, the average UK salary stands at £27,600.
"To suggest the hospitality sector is all long hours is pretty dated too. There are many roles within the catering sector, for example, where roles are incredibly flexible and 9am-5pm if people choose," said Pierce.
She added: "It's really important for the sector to engage in awareness programmes to better inform parents about the opportunities available to their children.
"The sector has created one in five new jobs over the past five years, and the industry's contribution to the economy shouldn't go unrecognised.
"There are many well paid, sustainable jobs across what is a very diverse industry. The industry needs to work together to get this message out to parents."
The survey by Best Western revealed medicine was the top preferred career choice according to parents, followed by accountancy and architecture.
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