Hospitality employers urged to do more to attract responsibility-hungry university graduates

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Young people, Management

Graduates who seek more responsibility in their jobs could be better suited to a career in hospitality, suggests UKSP
Graduates who seek more responsibility in their jobs could be better suited to a career in hospitality, suggests UKSP
Employers within the hospitality industry are being urged to do more to recruit young people at both graduate and non-graduate level after a survey of recent university graduates found that more than a third are disappointed with the levels of responsibility given to them in their first job.

The research by hospitality careers website UKSP found that 18 per cent of graduates feel they have never been given the right opportunities to take on responsibility while 45 per cent question their choice of job due to the lack of responsibility they have.

With recruiting and retention of the right staff still an issue within the hospitality industry, UKSP believes that responsibility-hungry graduates and under-graduates could be used to fill the estimated extra 69,000 managerial jobs the industry is expected to create by 2017.

“For young people currently considering career options, as our recent State of the Nation report shows, managers in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries are often younger than average – especially those working in pubs, bars, restaurants and events, said UKSP’s Lesley Potter.

“There’s a wealth of opportunity – both at graduate and non-graduate level – within the sector for those who want to experience managing a business at an early age.”

Young managers

Research by skills council People 1st found that almost a quarter of managers in the HLTT industry are under the age of 30, compared to 10 per cent across the whole of the economy.

Previous research by UKSP also found that almost a quarter of people attending a jobs fair for hospitality were suited to management.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st said employers need to do more to promote the opportunities for graduates in their companies.

“It’s not just about filling low-skilled jobs – as our research highlights, there are fantastic managerial roles available. It’s essential that employers take the mantle to both promote the wealth of opportunity on offer to young people – something UKSP clearly advocates – and provide the continued training and development that will retain that young talent within our industry."

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2 comments

Structure for graduate development

Posted by Dr. Joseph Hegarty,

In order that Hospitality employers gain full benefit from the graduate talent available to them they are advised to engage in developing a coherent management development programme to include; advising and directing graduates
Career progression expectations
Salary expectation
Monitoring graduates as their careers develop.
Structured Development and mentoring. After all the graduates opting for careers in hospitality want to become managers, or at least have a role of progressive responsibility

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Hospitality employers need to revise their hegemonic stance

Posted by Dr. Joseph Hegarty,

Until relatively recently in terms of the discipline, academic qualifications at tertiary level in hospitality, and culinary arts did and in some respects still do not have the status of qualifications in other disciplines. The most usual means to obtaining a tertiary qualification in the general field of hospitality and culinary arts was through the path of practice in the hotel, or management degrees in hotel and catering (hospitality). These routes have their limits. They raise many issues around the industry’s mentality towards education, training and work in hotels, restaurants not least, the development and promotion of vocational education as the means of encouraging “training for hotel and catering work”. Its dominant ideology is one of orienting the organisation and curricula of hotel and catering schools towards narrow vocational and industry needs. Such task-based training serves only to draw down the intellectual to practice, without understanding.
This comment aims to show that in raising hospitality & culinary arts education to degree and postgraduiate level educators need to become critically reflective teachers and allow students to become reflective practitioners, free to know, go, do and be whatever they want to be. Also, it demonstrates that students’ futures cannot be limited to either teachers’ or industry managers’ current knowledge on careers available or career progression. Students must learn how to learn, to become entrepreneurial innovators, and to lead worthwhile lives as citizens, with a sense of mission and responsibility for the planet and the poor. The industry needs to revise its hegemonic stance in regard to their perception of student capability.
Hospitality and Culinary arts education has received little serious scholarly attention to date, because of a) the lack of theoretical underpinning that would allow it to become a serious discipline,
b) the difficulty in separating the transitory nature and link with physical work, and “industry needs”, from those of “education” in the subject, i.e., ‘science’, ‘art’ or ‘theory’, and c) the absence of postgraduate doctoral practitioners in the field.
The academic community conceded that hospitality & culinary education in its vocational form has limited use in its lower range, that is, it was developed for low-skill, entry level, task-based technical training for “work in kitchens and restaurants”. What many, even in the professional hospitality sector, implicitly denied, was that it had any valid claim as a knowledge-field in higher education. Its promoters were seen as callow intruders staking a place in the higher education timetable, justifying their presence on grounds, such as, pragmatism, persistence and utility. There is little dialogue between the education provider and the industry. Hospitality & Culinary is a comparatively new area for advanced study in tertiary education and as such has yet to develop as a subject/discipline with its own appropriate research methodologies. It is an ill-structured knowledge domain which emphasizes the “unfinished” business of action and lacks basic rigor and focus. Nevertheless, there is a compelling case for industry to acknowledge the value of graduate and postgraduate professional programmes in hospitality & culinary arts.

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