Research released today by Livebookings reveales that 43 per cent of young adults (16-24 years old) would not consider hospitality as a career option. Forty per cent said they felt the work would be ‘boring’ and ‘repetitive’, while nearly a third (29 per cent) said the industry wasn’t forward-thinking enough.
Peter Avis, restaurant manager for Babylon Restaurant, gave his view on the findings. “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.”
The research, conducted on 1,000 young adults nationwide, also found that one in five young adults 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’.
Technology in hospitality
Colin Tenwick, Livebookings’ chief executive, said: “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.”
Val Carter, learning and development director for food services provide Aramark added: “Our industry is an amazing place for young people to develop their career. There are so many options, from Marketing, IT, HR & Procurement through to the more traditional roles of restaurant and coffee shop management and culinary positions.
“I have worked in the business all my life, and can’t think of a more forward thinking and innovative career. Nothing ever stands still, and food service has to find ways of satisfying a hugely diverse range of customer, from school children to university students, and from bankers to the military.
“There is a skills shortage at the moment, so we are crying out for young people keen to develop their skills. In this time of high youth unemployment, it must be remembered that there will always be jobs feeding people.”
Supporting young people in the industry:
- Last month, the Big Conversation - a joint initiative between Business in the Community (BitC), the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and Springboard - brought together an array of hospitality industry leaders with young people to stimulate a dialogue on employability skills, work experience and apprenticeships.
- In June, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) launched the first National Licenced Hospitality Apprenticeships Summit to demonstrate how apprenticeships can provide a motivated workforce in the hospitality industry.
- Prior to that, London Mayor Boris Johnson, his office and the Local Enterprise Partnership put their weight firmly behind the BII’s new Apprenticeship in Licensed Hospitality.