Spokesperson for Caterer.com

20 May 2019

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The skills crisis looks set to worsen for the hospitality industry as new research from Caterer.com has revealed a staggering 97% of school children and recent school leavers across the UK have already written off working in the industry as a career option.

Although the industry provides a plethora of exciting and rewarding pathways into hospitality careers through apprenticeships and ‘earn while you learn’ training schemes, the aspirations of young people to become successful chefs, managers or operational heads are left unnurtured at crucial stages. Two fifths (44%) of primary and one in five (17%) secondary students are not able to access food related subjects. Despite the majority (82%) of primary students and two thirds (62%) of secondary students saying they would take up these subjects if they were available to them. 

Despite the high interest in food related subjects, nearly all (86%) of secondary students say they’re in the dark about career opportunities in hospitality and the range of roles it offers with only one in ten (11%) given advice on entering the industry from their schools and careers advisors. Encouraging recent school leavers to enter the industry is no mean feat for hospitality employers either, with almost half (48%) of 18-24 year olds viewing hospitality jobs as no more than a temporary role and a further third (35%) believing industry offers no career progression. 

Following Caterer.com’s research findings, the leading hospitality jobs board has partnered with Myself to help employers champion the industry and support schools in ensuring young people are encouraged to enter the industry. 

Hospitality is an exciting, vivacious industry that has meant I am practising my passion every day, surrounded by incredibly creative colleagues. I know at my restaurants I am constantly looking for the next stars in the industry and struggling to find the skillset we need due to the drop of new talent emerging from the education system – despite the work done by the industry to attract entry level talent. 

“It’s a career that offers such diversity: from floor to sous chef, from logistical prowess to creative ambition. My own career has taken me from working with incredible luminaries like Pierre Koffman, Richard Neat and Joel Robuchon; all the way to be the owner of my first restaurant. What other industry can offer you such mentorship followed by such opportunity?”

Caterer.com are the largest and most effective UK hospitality job board, receiving 2 million visits and over 700,000 job applications each month. Part of Totaljobs Group, they work closely with employers across all sectors of the industry to deliver relevant candidates to meet their recruitment needs www.caterer.com

Michelin awarded chef and former Great British Menu star Tom Aikens joined forces with the UK’s largest hospitality jobs board Caterer.com today to champion hospitality careers after research revealed 9 out of 10 secondary school students say their school has given them no information about a career in hospitality despite one in five school aged children saying working in a restaurant or being a chef would be fun. Find out more at https://blog.caterer.com/hospitality-career-aspirations-too-hot-to-handle/

What are the key findings? 

We have researched attitudes towards careers in the hospitality industry, focusing on primary and secondary school children, recent school leavers (18-24 year olds), parents of school aged children and parents of 18-24 year olds. 

 

  • A staggering 97% of school aged children and recent school leavers across the UK have already written off working in hospitality roles in hotels, bars and restaurants as a career option
  • 9 out of 10 (89%) secondary school students say their school has given them no information about a career in hospitality
  • A third (30%) of students across the country don’t have access to any food related subject offering at school 
  • Almost half (45%) of parents of school aged children say a limited food subject offering at schools is impacting their child’s aspirations to enter the industry 
  • Half (48%) of recent school leavers aged 18-24 years old view hospitality jobs as no more than a temporary role 
  • A further third (35%) of 18-24 year olds say the industry offers no career progression

 

Who else is involved?

  • The Food Teachers Centre (who helped conduct research with teachers)
  • Springboard, a charity who help bridge pathways for young people to entry the industry 
  • UKHospitality, the country’s leading hospitality trade association 

 

Campaign key messages 

  • Parents and schools should be encouraging children to consider a wide range of industries for potential careers, including hospitality 
  • As the UK’s largest hospitality job board, Caterer.com is committed to encouraging more young people to consider entering the hospitality industry  
  • Caterer.com is working closely with employers to make their brands visible and showcase the range of development opportunities available for young talent in the industry, as well as quell any negative perceptions that currently exist 
  • Hospitality is an exciting, vivacious industry offers a myriad of great career opportunities for young people
  • Hospitality has given me a diverse range of opportunities and enabled me to practice my passion each day 
  • I want young people and their parents to see the plethora of long term development opportunities available in the industry for creative, hardworking individuals
  • Why should parents and schools be encouraging children to consider careers in hospitality? 
    • Parents and schools should be encouraging children to consider a wide range of industries for potential careers, including hospitality 
    • The research from Caterer.com shows that despite an appetite to study hospitality and food related subjects, schools are not providing the information and training needed to nurture these aspirations  
    • Hospitality is an exciting, vivacious industry that offers a myriad of great career opportunities for young people and has given me a diverse range of opportunities and enabled me to practice my passion each day
    • I want parents and schools to understand and promote the long-term career development opportunities available to young people who enter the industry 
  • For people that do enjoy cooking, what opportunities are there for them in hospitality?
    • There are thousands of entry level hospitality roles made available each month, from Commis chef roles, catering staff roles, pub and bar staff and waiter jobs – all of which provide a great introduction into the industry
    • There are also numerous ‘earn while you learn’ pathways into the industry through colleges and apprenticeships that provide practical training and skills development for those starting their career
    • The great thing about the hospitality is that it is an industry that invests in its people – you don’t always need to have the exact skills, but you do need to have commitment, a desire to work hard and a bit of creativity. If you have those skills then know that there is lots of training available to you, to take you from Commis to head chef or restauranteur as you progress your career.
    •  

Nurturing future hospitality stars 

  • Not to be deterred by a lack of encouragement from schools, nearly a third (34%) of secondary students said a career in hospitality would be an attractive path and almost one in five (18%) said working in a restaurant or being a chef would be fun. However, the research revealed a need to bridge the gap between these aspirations and the number of young people entering the industry. 

 

  • Over two in five (44%) of primary and nearly one in five (17%) secondary school students say food subjects are not available to them, despite 82% and 62% of primary and secondary students, respectively, saying they would take up a food related subject if it was available. Despite the high interest in food related subjects, the majority (86%) of secondary students say they’re in the dark about the hospitality industry and the range of careers it offers with only one in ten (11%) given advice on entering the industry from their schools and careers advisors. 

 

Parents to play a bigger role in encouraging young people to enter the industry

  • It’s not just schools and government who need to encourage young people to enter the industry. Caterer.com’s research revealed only one in four (24%) parents of school aged children would encourage their child to pursue a hospitality career, despite the majority (83%) saying it’s important that food related subjects are learnt at school. 

 

  • With almost three in ten (29%) parents with school aged children admitting they have the most influence on their child’s career choices, Caterer.com is supporting hospitality employers to address misconceptions about the industry and encouraged young talent to pursue life-long, successful careers in hospitality. 

 

Caterer.com’s research has highlighted why we have a skill shortage in the industry.

It shows that despite an appetite from many school children for cooking, the education system is not able to encourage this.

Cooking is an exciting, vivacious industry offers a myriad of great career opportunities for young people and has given me a diverse range of opportunities and enabled me to practice my passion each day

I want young people and their parents to see the plethora of longterm development opportunities available in the industry for creative, hardworking individuals

 

My podcast interview is now available on iTunes and on Caterer.com’s blog, find the audio file Available to download here https://we.tl/t-CytFBoJTzj

Caterer.com recently launched it’s Entry Level Talent Campaign; an industry wide discussion on how employers can attract and recruit fresh blood to the sector. Spearheading this campaign was myself. In this special edition of Recruiting in Hospitality, Lancelot Narayan spoke to Tom at his Chelsea restaurant about the campaign and his thoughts on what more the industry can do to promote and create new careers.

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