Hospitality careers off the menu for young people in UK

Despite high unemployment rates there, nearly 43 per cent of young people in the UK would not even consider a career in the hospitality industry despite the sector being one of the few currently offering opportunities at all qualification levels, according to a survey of 1,000 young adults by online reservations and marketing service Livebookings.

With one in five 16 to 24 year-olds in the UK unemployed, “the disconnect between the jobs on offer and what young people will consider is causing concern for industry experts,” states Livebookings.

Youth look elsewhere for ‘modern’ careers
Two in five of this age group said they felt the work would be boring and repetitive while nearly a third (29 per cent) said the industry wasn’t forward-looking enough and one in five felt it wouldn’t use their technology skills and knowledge of the internet and social media.
A third (33 per cent) felt their skills would be better suited to an office environment ‘with modern technology’.

Industry experts cite misunderstanding of the jobs on offer

Peter Avis, Restaurant Manager for Babylon Restaurant, part of Sir Richard Branson’s luxury retreat collection Virgin Limited Edition, has travelled the world extensively in his work. He believes that the depth of skills and talent needed for front-of-house roles is vast, yet people generally don’t see beyond the person serving at table to see the exciting career path the job can lead to.
“Many young people entering the job market now don’t realise how much there is to a restaurant management role,” he said, “We’re recruiting currently for Babylon and in addition to the traditional skills you’d expect, we’re also looking for IT, marketing and social media skills.”

Jobs going spare
The latest quarterly Caterer.com and People 1st Hospitality Employment Index shows that job vacancies posted continued to rise throughout 2011 in the UK. All regions experienced an increase in jobs advertised throughout 2011, particularly London and the South East which, collectively at 26,376, far exceeded the total postings for all other regions (19,343). Job applications averaged 18 per job posted.

The Chief Executive of Livebookings Colin Tenwick, who commissioned the research, commented, “The relevance of technology in a hospitality role isn’t instantly clear to the generation of young adults now entering the workplace who have grown up with the internet and almost all own smartphones.

“But in fact, the majority of restaurants, bars and hotels have a clear commitment to marketing themselves online and responding to changing consumer behaviour by taking internet and mobile bookings.”

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