UKHospitality's report to address the misconceptions of jobs in the pub trade is a welcome move.
I listened to an apprentice chef speak so eloquently about his experience of an apprenticeship today that I wanted to give him a voice here too.
"There are lots of doors closed to people like me," said Michael Chambers, a chef apprentice at the Park Plaza Hotel in London's Victoria area.
"But an apprenticeship has given me the chance to prove myself. A chance to go home at night and laydown my head and to know I've done something worthwhile that day."
He was talking at the launch of UKHospitality's Workforce Commission 2030 report, in front of an invited audience of MPs, fellow apprentices and the press, and he brought what could have been a dull report to life.
There's no doubt we have a perception problem in the pub trade, and the wider hospitality sector, when it comes to careers. Pubs are seen as great for part time jobs, first jobs and extra jobs but not enough people see what working in pubs can offer in terms of a career.
With an impending labour crisis post Brexit, UK Hospitality has seized the opportunity to try and address this now. It is right to do so and to invest time and resources in this report, which aims to highlight to MPs and wider stakeholders what needs to be done to ensure pubs and the hospitality sector in general is seen as an attractive sector in which to build a successful career.
The report's recommendations include:
- A cross-industry, national campaign to eliminate negative perceptions of hospitality careers
- Adapt schools' outreach to enable direct dialogue between hospitality businesses and students
- Industry to attract and retain employees via lifelong learning and on-the job training
- Government support for workforce upskilling to encourage older and "harder to place" workers into the sector or back into employment
It should be remembered that the hospitality sector employs 3.2 million people in this country; is the third largest private sector employer in the UK, representing over 10 per cent of UK employment; and generates £130 billion of economic activity.
"We want to raise and improve the profile of hospitality careers," UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said.
"This report is about creating a cross industry united campaign to challenge negative perception of hospitality careers and to showcase modern careers in hospitality and joined-up opportunities for training, as well as the soft skills our sector has to offer."
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