The BHA wants to arrange a meeting with education chiefs to organise ways in which hospitality leaders can work with the education establishment. A stigma still surrounds vocational courses, and the BHA proposes that education needs to change and that teachers need more training about vocational career paths, especially those in hospitality. The organisation is willing to work with teachers to help provide this training for the industry.
“As a successful industry with even greater growth prospects, we are facing labour shortages,” said chief executive of the BHA Ufi Ibrahim. “Our industry could be making an even greater contribution to driving youth employment if the education system stopped hoarding young people in academia.
“There is still a snobbish snubbing of vocational opportunities, which enable young people to choose on-the-job training over purely academic courses. We are asking government to help us turn this around by involving more businesses in the classroom. Many young people are currently being trained in academia for the wrong types of jobs so we need to find a better way to showcase the real job opportunities available. “
Hospitality needs prominence
Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that 15 per cent of new jobs created last year were in hospitality and tourism, which is the equivalent of 13 new jobs per hour of every day in the year.
These figures prove that the hospitality industry is a key player in the economic recovery and is helping to cut unemployment. The industry is generating more jobs than a number of others, including construction, education, and health.
Ibrahim said: “The BHA’s research shows that with the right policy framework in place, the hospitality sector will generate 300,000 new jobs by 2020, however the speed of job creation has exceeded even our own estimates with over one third of those new jobs now already delivered.”
The BHA claims that with the hospitality industry growing at this fast rate, labour shortages could become a key issue, and so it is vital to educate more young people on what careers in hospitality can involve. Initiatives like the Big Hospitality Conversation have been set up to help young people get into the industry.
Managing director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants Patrick Dempsey said: "The hospitality industry offers a wealth of opportunities for all job seekers, regardless of their age or previous experience. The Big Hospitality Conversation is an initiative dedicated to ensuring those searching for employment consider a role in hospitality and we at Premier Inn are proud to work closely with the British Hospitality Association to drive this forward."