Research from apprenticeship provider HIT Training and recruitment website Get My First Job revealed 16 – 20-year-olds view jobs in the sector as a ‘stepping stone to another career’, having ‘limited career prospects’ and as ‘a part-time job while studying’. 53% of the of the 243 respondents said that they wouldn’t consider a career in hospitality.

As a sector, the hospitality industry needs to sell itself better and reach more schools. The study found that school and work experience, as well as teachers and parents, had an early impact on the career decisions that young people make. By the age of 20 most had chosen their career path with three in five knowing what sector they want to go in.

HIT’s Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality​ campaign seeks a cross-party solution to address the stigma attached to working in hospitality and help businesses reduce the skills shortage. It has called on businesses that pay the apprenticeship levy to pledge to transfer a percentage of their fund to a smaller business in the sector.

HIT Training managing director Jill Whittaker said the industry needs to do more to shout about the benefits and development programmes available within the sector, as well as encouraging part-time workers to view the sector as a permanent career option.

She said ““Experiences, development opportunities and working culture are of greater importance to this workforce and all key attributes that 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.”