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Research Suggests Just 5% Of School Leavers Consider Careers in Hospitality

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Research Suggests Just 5% Of School Leavers Consider Careers in Hospitality

Research Suggests Just 5% Of School Leavers Consider Careers in Hospitality
May 19
09:14 2022

New research from has highlighted a majority of 18-24-year-olds continue to view hospitality as a temporary job, with long-standing misconceptions surrounding poor pay and a lack of flexibility among the top reasons for sidestepping the sector.

Kathy Dyball, a director at, said: ‘With businesses facing talent shortages alongside increased demand and higher customer expectation, employers are focused on attracting the next generation of skilled workers. However, while our data shows a jump in salaries and a record number of roles offering more than £50,000 a year, the research also shows that a lack of information on potential career opportunities has led to misconceptions about the sector, with over half of school leavers viewing hospitality jobs as merely a temporary fix and 44% believing the sector does not offer career progression.’

The new research also highlights the challenges currently facing pub, restaurant, hotel owners and caterers as they continue to try to boost the sector’s image following a sharp drop in available talent, particularly from outside the UK.

‘As part of a range of industry initiatives to tackle the problem, we have partnered with Youth Employment UK and Choose Hospitality to launch a campaign that will provide school leavers with advice and real-world interviews showcasing the breadth of roles,’ continued Kathy.’s Kathy Dyball

The findings shows that parents have the biggest influence on career choices of school leavers although just one in five (23%) would encourage their child to pursue a career in hospitality, as they believe it offers low pay, has anti-social working hours and there is poor earning potential. Instead, most parents would prefer their child to explore a career in industries such as engineering, law, management or finance.’

It’s not all bad news, though. Despite negative parental influence and only five percent of pupils planning a career in hospitality, the research shows that over half (56%) of school leavers agree that the sector is an attractive career option. Big attractions include: the opportunity to learn new skills; flexible hours; working with the public; variety of tasks and roles; and the opportunity to travel.

‘Many hospitality employers have taken great steps to improve pay, offer comprehensive benefit packages and flexible working hours,’ concludes Kathy.

‘It is therefore crucial that we reach young people as they make critical decisions about their careers.’’s campaign in partnership with Youth Employment UK and Choose Hospitality will showcase a series of videos, featuring real-world interviews with hospitality workers and leading chefs in schools across the country.

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Catering Scotland

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