The hospitality industry is missing out on large numbers of talented graduates every year, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association warned last night.
In a speech to students at the University of Surrey, Bob Cotton admitted there was ambiguity about exactly how many hospitality students go on to work in the industry.
"Of the 600 degree level hospitality students we believe we produce every year, how many will even enter the hospitality industry in this country? We don't know," he said.
"How many will still be in the industry in five years time? We don't know. Some surveys and anecdotal evidence suggest that the number is alarmingly small."
Cotton expressed disappointment in the lack of high level hospitality graduates making long-term career choices within hospitality, and highlighted the need for a "strategy which outlines the number of recruits needed every year and the qualifications they need".
Confusion within hospitality colleges as to "the numbers of students required and the qualifications they need" was cited among the problems plaguing graduate development.
The speech concluded with Cotton stating the need for "raising our management and leadership levels" and "that training our cooks and chefs, and our waiters and our front office staff, will be the key to future success."
By Rosie Birkett
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