Talk to the leader of a hospitality business (and that's something we do a lot at Caterer and Hotelkeeper), and the chances are that no matter what type of business they run, they will have worked their way up from the very bottom.
If they're a high-flying chef, they'll have done their time washing pots in their local pub as a teenager. If they are a hotelier, it's a fair bet they've spent many a weary night manning the reception. And those who run their own venture very rarely do so without a few years' experience under their belt of how to (or how not to) manage a successful hospitality business.
So many people in this sector are living proof of the great opportunities it offers. And yet, there is still an acute shortage of skills in certain areas. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that hospitality still suffers something of an image problem among teachers, careers advisers and parents who help shape the career paths of young people (see the results of our exclusive research on page 14). In an environment where we have about one million young people unemployed, that seems like a rather perverse situation to be in.
And that is why Caterer and Hotelkeeper has teamed up with vocational training provider Lifetime and hospitality recruitment specialist Caterer.com, to launch our new editorial awareness campaign, Think Again. The campaign also has the support of industry charity Springboard (see our interview with Springboard chief executive Anne Pierce.
Throughout the coming 12 months we will work to highlight the great career opportunities that hospitality can offer young people, through a series of articles, online debates, and other editorial activity. We will also endeavour to help you, as employers, make sense of what schemes are available to help attract, train, and retain the best young talent.
Neil Gerrard, Pubs, bars and casual dining editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper
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