Make recruitment process more ‘youth friendly’ hospitality urged

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Offering more entry-level jobs and apprenticeships could help safeguard the future workforce, says BITC and City & Guilds Group
Offering more entry-level jobs and apprenticeships could help safeguard the future workforce, says BITC and City & Guilds Group

Related tags: Young people, Employment

Businesses in the hospitality sector are being advised to make their recruitment process more ‘youth friendly’ to help safeguard the industry’s future workforce after a survey of 18-24-year-olds found they faced barriers when applying for jobs.

The survey, commissioned by Business in the Community (BITC) and City & Guilds Group for its Future Proof campaign, found that 57 per cent of young people felt they couldn’t apply for jobs because they had a lack of experience while 28 per cent cited a lack of qualifications as the main barrier.

Chris Jones, chief executive of City & Guilds Group said despite policy incentives to employ young people, the unemployment rate among 16-24 year-olds was ‘stubbornly high’ and said employers needed to do more to address it.

“The unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds is 13.7 per cent compared to a UK wide rate of 5.1 per cent,” he said. “As the competition to attract and recruit young people increases, businesses will lose out unless they change their recruitment processes.”


With such a large number of 18-24-year-olds failing to apply for jobs because they fear they don't have the right level of experience, hospitality employers are being urged to offer more entry-level jobs and apprenticeships to encourage a greater number to apply. 

While many hospitality companies, such as Whitbread and restaurant group Prezzo, which announced today it was taking on another 300 apprentices this year, are already making efforts to offer apprenticeships, the BITC and City & Guilds Group said there was still scope for more. 

Grace Mehanna, campaign director at BITC, said: "Through our campaign we want to build on the great work that has been done and work with businesses to help shine a light on the skills they need and open their eyes to the potential of young people, not just looking at those with good academic qualifications and previous experience.

"The shift in demographics and apprenticeship policy provides businesses with an ideal opportunity to rethink how they recruit young people. We believe this will ensure businesses have a workforce with the right skills, now and in the future.”

Prezzo’s HR director Janene Pretorius, added: “Apprentices are excellent for our business. We wish to train and retain the best staff and apprenticeships enable us to do this, whilst at the same time we can offer an entry point to those looking for a career in the restaurant industry."

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