The Education of the Next Generation
Remember that metaphorical conveyer belt that I spoke about in one of my previous blogs? It’s crucial for any Industry to have a successful conveyer belt of training and progression of staff. Unfortunately, the Hospitality & Catering Industry lacks this for various reasons; from the lack of people entering the Industry and maybe some not understanding the requirements of it.
Where is it all going wrong? Is it Apprentice Schemes not offering enough opportunities for progression at junior levels in order to keep them within the Industry? Are the mind-sets just not right? And is it just the mind-sets in junior individuals or parents, government and Industry professionals as well that needs addressing? If so, how do you go about changing those?
The growth of the Media and TV among others arguably glamorised an Industry that involves long hours and hard work but represented it as something ideal and perfect for everyone. The side-effect it caused was mis-representation to prospective Industry professionals and many fell out altogether.
In our own personal experiences, we have seen Apprentices be very clued up and mature throughout the interview process, something that is very commendable. However, we have noticed some being influenced by parents and other figures in unfortunate ways.
So is it the parents? We suspect there may be the need to also educate parents in order to change how they view the hospitality sector.
Our launch of Apprenticeships and NVQ training has progressed amazingly, but are others doing the same? Is the work being implemented by us and many others being supported by the government? As much as 100% on job training could be deemed advantageous, the education system is adjudged to be failing the Industry due to providing so few with core skills to make it as a career.
This view is emphasised by Oliver Peyton who says that “Apprenticeships are fine, but government still has a terribly blinkered view of the importance of hospitality to the UK economy, particularly in terms of how we educate our young people. We need to promote the concept of going into higher level education in hospitality.”
He also added that “We need to extend and make much grander our proposition. Hospitality needs to be at third level [degree level] education. We’re just not at that point. It needs to be seen as that kind of opportunity. Why can’t people do hospitality degrees to the extent where they are useful?” noting that degrees and higher level education isn’t so appealing for Hospitality & Catering, creating a real disadvantage, limiting the numbers of people entering the Industry. Staggeringly, the compulsory requirement for Practical Cookery to be taught up to Year 9 was only rubber stamped last year and only came in to effect this year, let alone advocating a push to encourage more into the Industry through higher level education.
So, as much as providing Apprenticeships and NVQs will do wonders for the Industry, other work must be completed and addressed, such as changing mentalities and making sure all complying forces are singing from the same song sheet in order to play each of their parts to help this Industry supply the staff it demands.