Do Hospitality Careers Need a Rebrand?

New research from HIT Training highlights 16-20-year-olds’ perceptions of the sector:

  • Over half of 16-20-year-olds wouldn’t consider a career in hospitality
  • Before turning 20, as many as 3 in 5 Gen Z know what they want to do as a career
  • Two thirds of 16-20-year-olds are considering an apprenticeship.

New research has identified that over half (53%) of 16-20-year-olds wouldn’t consider a career in hospitality. The top reasons for this are it’s seen as ‘a stepping stone to another career’, as having ‘limited career prospects’ and viewed as ‘a part-time job while studying’ – posing the question, do hospitality careers need a re-brand?

The results, which are from a new study by HIT Training and Get My First Job, highlight the worrying perceptions the younger generation have of hospitality careers and the need for the sector to address these and open the door to future talent.

The research found that before they even turn 20, as many as 3 in 5 know what they want to do as a career. For over a third of Generation Z, this important life decision is made while still in school. What’s more, conducting work experience was identified as the biggest influence on this generations’ career choices, followed by their teachers and parents.  

What’s clear is valuable work experience is a crucial way to attract the younger generation into the sector. When asked, two thirds of 16-20-year-olds claimed to be considering an apprenticeship, much higher than the 19% deliberating university, suggesting that development and on-the-job training are attractive to young adults.

Speaking about the research results, Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training, said: “What these latest findings show is that the hospitality industry needs to do more to shout about the benefits and development programmes available in the sector to make it a more attractive place to work for the younger generation. This same approach is also required for those working in hospitality on a part-time basis to encourage them to view the sector as a permanent career option. Experiences, development opportunities and working culture are of greater importance to this workforce and all key attributes which need to be highlighted as part of the recruitment process.

“As professionals within the hospitality industry, we have a duty of care to showcase what a career in hospitality can offer to all ages. The research shows that key influences in the younger generations’ career choices are during school, work experience and the views of their teachers and parents – let’s maximise these opportunities and change perceptions to make sure that when they do consider their future occupation, hospitality is in the running.”

To support the industry in protecting the future of the sector, HIT Training has launched a revolutionary new campaign for 2019. Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality aims to bring the industry together to champion the varied career opportunities available and implement practical solutions to lessen the skills shortage.

As part of this, HIT Training is calling on Levy-paying business in the hospitality sector to pledge to transfer a percentage of their Levy fund to an SME within the industry and help provide high-quality development opportunities through apprenticeship programmes. This campaign comes at a time when entry-level apprenticeships within small hospitality businesses are at an all-time low, causing a barrier to social mobility and the growth of the sector.

For more information on Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality or to pledge a percentage of your Levy fund, please visit:

OR to pledge a percentage of your Apprenticeship Levy fund to the sector, please visit:

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