Opinion

Hospitality? “Not an option!”

The recurring call for more staff in the hospitality industry – particularly more chefs – has again gone out. And the tumbleweed and whistling wind response indicates that the trade will have to do a lot more to entice young people into a career in the pub or restaurant trade.

The recurring call for more staff in the hospitality industry – particularly more chefs – has again gone out. And the tumbleweed and whistling wind response indicates that the trade will have to do a lot more to entice young people into a career in the pub or restaurant trade.

Over half of 16 to 20 year-olds wouldn’t even consider it a career option according to recent research in the UK.

Generation Z views jobs in this sector as little more than a ‘stepping stone to another career’ and one with ‘limited career options’ at that or ‘a part-time job while studying’ according to apprenticeship provider HIT Training and recruitment website Get My First Job.

The hospitality trade needs to sell itself better and reach more schools, believes HIT’s Managing Director Jill Whittaker.

In a piece entitled ‘Do hospitality careers need a re-brand?’ she pointed out that before they even turn 20 as many as three in five know what they want to do as a career.

For over a third of Generation Z, this important life decision is made while still in school. What’s more, conducting work experience was identified as the biggest influence on this generations’ career choices, followed by their teachers and parents.”

Work experience is crucial in attracting the younger generation into the sector and their experience of that coupled with on-the-job training does appear attractive to young adults.

But those involved in employing young persons must also strive to ensure that the hospitality industry does more to emphasise the benefits and development programmes available in the sector to make it a more attractive place in which to work, with the same approach being taken to those considering part-time work.

“The research shows that key influences in the younger generations’ career choices are during school, work experience and the views of their teachers and parents – let’s maximise these opportunities and change perceptions to make sure that when they do consider their future occupation, hospitality is in the running,” states Jill Whittacker.

Certainly, lengthy 12-hour shifts coupled with 10-day weeks in some kitchens here have the opposite effect on those contemplating hospitality as a serious career move.

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