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Research reveals a positive change in perceptions of hospitality careers

Posted on 4 February, 2020

New research from HIT Training reveals that three quarters (76%) of parents[1] and over half (55%) of teachers[2] believe jobs in hospitality offer a long-term career route that will help their children develop lifelong skills.

The study, released during National Apprenticeship Week, represents a positive change in perceptions of the industry that can be leveraged by employers to attract and retain talent.

Both parents and teachers also shared the opinion that the hospitality sector should be given a greater focus in schools. Some 86% of parents1 say food subjects should be on the curriculum and over a third (38%) of teachers2 believe that schools do not provide enough advice about jobs in hospitality to meet employment demand.

Overall, young people are more open to exploring careers in hospitality too. One in five teachers say they have experienced an increase in pupils asking for information about jobs in hospitality in recent years2.

Despite these positive perceptions of careers in the industry, there is still work to be done to convince over a third (35%) of parents who still believe hospitality careers have anti-social working hours and over a quarter (26%) who say it’s a ‘stop gap’ between school and university1.  

Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at HIT Training, says hospitality businesses should nurture these promising perceptions for the greater good of the industry: “We know there’s still a lack of understanding about what careers in this industry can offer in terms of progression, satisfaction and reward, which has resulted in a number of barriers preventing new talent entering the industry.

“However, there’s a huge opportunity for hospitality employers to maximise these encouraging perceptions from parents and teachers to attract and retain top talent and work towards closing the skills gap crippling the industry.

“Key ways employers in the sector can do this is by ensuring they’re making effective work experience opportunities available, forging stronger relationships with schools to offer first-hand hospitality experiences, and providing more sector specific information to schools and parents. The aim of these initiatives is to shine a spotlight on the industry and showcase the different roles and progression opportunities available.”

To help hospitality businesses maximise the recruitment and retention opportunities presented by changing perceptions of the industry, HIT Training has launched a report, Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality.

It offers in-depth research and insight into the current challenges faced by the sector, along with practical tips and advice from hospitality leaders on how businesses can attract the next generation and target different talent pools to future-proof the sector.

Commenting on the Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality report, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, says: “Hospitality has struggled to fill gaps in recent years and the challenges are not going away. Too often we have an undeserved reputation problem which undermines recruitment even further.

“This report by HIT Training outlines the challenges and opportunities we face as a sector when it comes to securing our future. It gives insight into understanding the workforce, the younger generation’s perception of the sector and how you can attract them.”

For more information and to download a copy of the report, please visit:  www.hittraining.co.uk/Future_of_hospitality


[1] Survey of 1,000 parents conducted by 3GEM and HIT Training (July 2019)

[2] Survey of 500 teachers conducted by OnePoll and HIT Training (November 2019)


McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey


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