Hospitality is more than a stopgap. It’s a career


Hospitality is more than a stopgap. It’s a career


According to, 97% of school children and recent school leavers would not consider a career in hospitality. Negative perceptions of working in the industry such as long hours and low pay is considered a key contributor to dissuading children from the industry. Not to mention the lack of food related subjects to study and the fact that 89% of children receive no information from career advisors about a career in hospitality. Despite this lack of advice, 35% of school leavers still believe that the hospitality industry offers no career progression.

Negative viewpoints from teachers and parents clearly have a strong influence on young people’s minds and are damaging to the reputation of the industry. 29% of parents admit that they have the most influence over their child’s career choices despite 34% of children viewing hospitality as an attractive career path and 18% saying that it would be fun. It’s important to recognise this issue and work to bridge the gap between children’s passions and their elder’s perceptions.

Saying that, it is as much of the hospitality industry’s responsibility to change these misconceptions. Part of this will be done through career progression and reduced hours, but something that the hospitality industry can shout about is the buzz that the hospitality industry provides. Passion for food and people is ultimately what drives people to enter and stay in the industry.

Due to these misconceptions, the industry has recognised a significant decrease in young talent, leaving operators short-staffed. According to Deputy, the industry has a turnover rate of 30%, with 3 out of 10 workers leaving their job within their first year – double that of the UK average. This is primarily because the industry is seen as a stopgap – the good news is that the industry started making significant moves to change this last year.

August 2019 marked the first ever Hospitality Apprenticeship Week, supported by big names such as Pizza Express, Marriot and The Institute of Hospitality. Its aim is to change perceptions among young people and open their minds to the prospect of a thriving career in the industry.

As HGEM’s Operations and HR Director, Lisa Chambers says, “a waiter can change 200 people’s days, every day”. There aren’t many careers where you can say the same.

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