One third of parents would actively discourage their children from working in the hospitality industry, according to the result of the Best Western Careers Index published today ahead of GCSE results day tomorrow.
The survey of more than 1,000 parents conducted by TLF Research on behalf of Best Western Great Britain, the consortium of 250 independent hotels, revealed that "poor pay" and "long hours" were the most common reason why mums and dads tried to dissuade their children from working in hotels and restaurants. Only 17% of parents viewed a career in hospitality positively.
Nearly half of all parents (48%) questioned said the most preferred career for their children was medicine, followed by accountancy (41%), architecture (38%) and IT (35%).
The least desirable career role, according to parents, is working as a sales professional (9%), closely followed by drivers (10%), farmers (11%) and cleaners (11%).
Les Asplen, managing director of Best Western Great Britain, said the survey showed just how much work the hospitality industry needs to do to attract a future workforce.
"I know myself from working my way up in hotels to the position I am now as managing director of Best Western Great Britain that hospitality offers great, diverse and rewarding careers," he explained. "Opportunities to climb the career ladder are based on hard work and aptitude, not grades, and more school leavers should be considering us as first choice career, not just a summer job."
Steps being taken by Best Western hotels to rise the perception of hospitality as a positive career choice among parents and students includes the setting up of a regional focus group by the general manager of the Moor Hall Hotel & Spa in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, to address staff shortages and encourage more hotels to be involved with schools.
The Richmond hotel in Liverpool has appointed a talent acquisition manager who runs a six-week programme to encourage more young people into hospitality, while the Castle Green hotel in Kendal, Cumbria, takes eight students for a week's work experience from local schools each year.
Top 10 preferred careers by parents
Accountants - 41%
Architects - 38%
IT specialists - 35%
Engineers - 33%
Law professionals - 31%
Scientists - 29%
Environment and conservation professionals - 26%
Film producers & directors - 25%
Bottom 10 careers according to parents
Sales professionals - 9%
Drivers and chauffeurs - 10%
Farmers - 11%
Cleaners - 11%
Marketing professionals - 13%
Mechanics - 15%
Plumbers - 15%
Public services professionals - 15%
Journalists - 15%
Brokers - 16%
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