Hospitality as an industry is of great significance to the health of the UK economy. However, I have always found it disappointing that teachers and parents aren’t encouraging young people to take up a role within the industry as a positive career choice. According to The Caterer, “Less than a quarter (22%) of 16 to 21 year olds in the UK say they would consider a career in hospitality”.
Here in the UK, we need to remove the negativity and snobbery surrounding careers in hospitality and we need to begin to encourage more young people to take roles within our vibrant and challenging sector.
In this article, we look at why there is a lot negativity and snobbery surrounding careers in hospitality and how we can start to eliminate negative perceptions about taking jobs in this industry.
It can be hard to see why there is such a negative view towards long term careers in hospitality. A lot of parents and teachers still view working in hospitality as either a stop-gap before something better comes along or something that’s done part-time during the holidays.
It is true that there are many temporary roles available in hospitality however the sector actually offers a wider range of rewarding, full-time, permanent positions many of which offer an employee the opportunity to develop and progress in these positions.
Apart from being seen as a temporary job, a lot of young job seekers see roles within hospitality as beneath them and not offering much in terms of job satisfaction. This is far from the case and, in reality, working in the sector requires an ability to manage yourself and others under pressure – the “buzz” of service.
People who start in hospitality more often that not stay in hospitality because there’s no other sector that delivers the “buzz” and recognises & rewards talent as quickly.
Within many academic settings, there aren’t many advisors who actively promote a career within hospitality to their students. This is often caused by a general lack of knowledge and understanding about the career opportunities that hospitality can offer. It is a perception that needs to be eradicated if we want to see an increase in the younger generation taking up long term roles within the industry.
Students should be given a fuller outlook on what a career in hospitality can offer them. From apprenticeships to managerial roles to long term development opportunities, it is an industry which should be promoted more regularly within schools as a possible career prospect.
Schools and academic settings need to be given more tools to help provide more information about the industry. By being able to promote the sector’s benefits, its progression opportunities, and the job satisfaction a career in hospitality delivers, educational establishments will give their students a broader and unbiased view of the employment market in general and their potential role within it.
Many parents do not consider hospitality as a stable or promising career choice for their children. However, if we look at the industry as a whole over an extended period of time, it has remained stable through many economic downturns – that’s certainly not true of all sectors.
According to Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber Commerce, the UK government have “ambitions to create tens of thousands of new jobs and up to 200,000 new apprenticeships over the next five years”. With these planned projections, the industry is needing to get more young people enthused about one of the most dynamic economic sectors in the UK.
Overall, as a nation, we need to do more to encourage our young generation to take up jobs within the sector and to show them that they can have long, fulfilling careers in the industry. By getting fresh, young talent to work in hospitality, it will allow for the industry to continue grow and develop, even during our current economic uncertainty here in the UK.
As a sector, we need to communicate the pride we feel about being in hospitality to the next generation through their parents and their teachers.