· 2 min read · Features

The hospitality industry has much to offer young people


Young people today have more choice than ever when it comes to choosing a professional career path. For many, the traditional route of higher education and university is the answer, whereas some may choose vocational training and apprenticeships.

For those who aren’t sure what they want to do, initiatives like Professions Week are incredibly beneficial. A week of activities, starting on 10 November, will aim to increase awareness of the range and variety of potential employment options that are available to people starting their careers.

Activities include local events organised by professional bodies, guidance from careers advisers or teachers, a national launch event in Parliament; a conference for careers advisers with presentations from different professional bodies; and lots more.

Many young people participating in Professions Week will hopefully explore the possibilities open to them in hospitality and leisure. As an industry, hospitality has seen a 21.1% increase in job vacancies since 2012 and is continuing to step up recruitment despite the tough economic climate.

It is an exciting time for hospitality, with the British Hospitality Association (BHA) teaming up with leading hospitality employers to create 6,000 jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds by the end of the year. The size and diversity of the sector means that young people looking for a role in hospitality have huge opportunities to pursue a long and worthwhile career.

Despite these opportunities, the hospitality and leisure industry must continue to raise awareness of the variety of professions available for young people.

A national survey by livebookings.com found that one-in-five 16- to 24-year-olds thought a hospitality job would not make use of their technology and social media skills. This is not true, as the industry is a fantastic environment for young people to hone their digital skills and develop a career. As well as the traditional culinary positions and customer-facing roles, there are opportunities in marketing, IT, HR, procurement and many other areas.

The view that a job in hospitality is a temporary one and not a solid career option is outdated. There aren’t many industries that offer young people such rich and diverse career paths and also the chance to work abroad and travel the world.

At Accor, we understand that our success depends on our employees throughout the company, in every department. Our Académie Accor is a network of 17 campuses around the world offering training for employees in every aspect of hospitality-related jobs.

Accor also offers students the chance to carry out traineeships and apprenticeships in a range of fields such as revenue management, marketing, human resources, IT and sales, as well as hotel-based roles. This again reflects the breadth of roles on offer in the industry as a whole.

As a hospitality employer, it is important to raise awareness of the opportunities that lie in this great industry of ours and the chance for people to build a valuable career for life. If we give young talent the chance to flourish in an area that they enjoy, this can only benefit everyone. 

Philip Addison is vice president of human resources for Accor UK and Ireland