According to a recent report by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the UK hospitality sector is the fourth largest industry in the country, accounting for over 2.9 million jobs and generating around £143 billion a year — 10% of the UK’s annual GDP. These statistics represent the strength of the sector, both in terms of its economic weight and its ability to engender thousands of new jobs for skilled, and inexperienced, individuals.
For those seeking a career change within the hospitality sector, or else hoping to enter the industry for the first time, now could not be a better time to enter the industry. In 2015, the BHA quoted that 10,000 new jobs would be created in the hospitality and food service management industries over the next twelve months, making it the UK’s second largest contributor to the country’s growing job market behind business services.
But just how can you make a successful career shift to this sector, and are there any skills, training programmes or vocational resources you should attain to bolster your chances of success in this burgeoning sector?
Innumerable entry points
One of the main reasons why the hospitality sector is such a strong industry is that there are a number of routes which individuals can take to secure a career in the sector. Depending on the role you’re pursuing, you may or may not need any formal qualifications or training, making the industry a great prospect for those with limited experience.
Career experts, TargetJobs, advise that on-the-job training is the most prevalent way to climb the career ladder, whilst things like graduate schemes can help to boost the amount of opportunities available to you further down the line. As touched on above, the skills required tend to vary from employer-to-employer, and there is no set rubric on securing a great career in hospitality.
Specific training will give your career a boost
That’s not to say you should approach a job application for a role in hospitality lightly, however. If you’re hoping to make a career move to a high-paying position within the sector, you’ll need to demonstrate you have the skills, experience and knowledge to undertake the demands of the role.
Hospitality training experts, My Training Academy, believe the secret to success in this sector is attaining qualifications and training in food safety, fire safety and health and safety.
They said: “By securing accredited training provision in the fields listed above, employers will take notice when glancing over your CV. Only by attaining these specific qualifications can an individual hope to attain a supervisory or managerial position within the hospitality industry.”
Work experience is key to a great career in hospitality
Not only will experiencing the demands of hospitality first-hand give you a sense of whether the industry is right for you, it’ll also help you build on-the-job skills which you can use to secure the qualifications mentioned above. Work experience, either in a paid or unpaid position, is vital to a successful career in hospitality, but securing such experience can be difficult for those switching to hospitality from another industry.
The EU-backed National Careers Service recommend securing work experience in the hospitality sector whilst you’re still studying, or else on an evening beyond your usual working hours. Even if it’s just a couple of hours working in a local bar, having previous work experience on your CV will impress prospective employees, and demonstrate your commitment to the industry.