School leavers told to consider career in hospitality

School leavers picking up their GCSE results have been urged to consider careers in the hospitality sector – with employers claiming it ‘offers young people more than just a salary.’

According to research by, 53 per cent of the 1,600 school leavers over the last year have said that they  would consider a career in the industry, double the number of those in research carried out in 2005.

Pizza Hut Restaurants HR director Kathryn Austin was happy to hear the news, saying that hospitality was ‘a great industry to consider for people of all academic backgrounds’.

She said: “A career in hospitality is absolutely worth considering as it offers young people far more than just a salary. It also enables people to build a host of important work and life skills, such as customer service, communication, the ability to multi-task and gain an insight into how a business operates.”

gcse_2318664b
GCSE leavers have been told to consider hospitality

However, companies in the industry are still struggling to recruit staff with the right skills and calls have been placed on the education system to better prepare those looking to leave education for the world of work.

“Basic literacy, numeracy and IT skills are essential to every job and employers are reluctant to hire if they have to plug the gap where compulsory education has failed. This continues to be a concern for our members, who tell us that they have difficulty in finding the school leavers with the right skills, experience and work ethic.”

“The situation remains that many young people entering the job market lack the basic skills employers are looking for and hold unrealistic views of the workplace,” said Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.

Work experience and attitude

Springboard chief executive Anne Pierce has said that ‘offering work experience to young people was a way to both influence career choice and help ready people for work’.

She said: ”On-going Springboard research into the influences around career choice shows that there are many factors that contribute to the career decision process – and we’re here to help ensure that the hospitality, tourism and leisure industry is well portrayed in all of them – on-line; social media; careers magazines; consumer press; speakers in schools and TV and radio, but work experience remains the biggest influence on career decisions – it is the deal breaker.

Hospitality job applications on the increase

Hospitality jobs are in high demand, according to new research. The latest Hospitality Employment Index report from Caterer.com and People 1st showed that there has been a 17 per cent increase in applications for hospitality jobs and the figure doesn’t seem to be slowing.

The results across the UK were pretty consistent, providing an indication that there’s been a rise in people attempting to boost their career development in the hospitality sector accordingly.

In the north-west alone, applications rose sharply by 43 per cent, almost reaching half of the previous research, while London recorded an increase of 35 per cent.

Scotland saw a huge rise of 71 per cent, just trailing slightly behind Wales, who saw an even better rise with a humungous 114 per cent rise in applications.

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said that skills shortages continue to be a problem in the sector.

He said: “Despite these high levels of competition, some businesses still struggle to recruit people with the skills and personalities they need. Within the hotel industry, not only does this affect overall productivity levels but it also has a knock-on effect to labour turnover.

“This results in an ongoing need to replace staff who lack the motivation and commitment to remain with the company for a prolonged period.”

Skill shortages are not the only problematic thing in the hospitality sector. Research by jobs board jobs.ac.uk showed that 30 per cent of organisations found it tough to source new talent over the past year.

Find more hospitality jobs on our site.