This is an excerpt from today’s Recruiter magazine – the trade press for Recruiters nationwide – featuring an interview with our Operations Manager, Chris Kimmins:

The hospitality industry has 300,000 jobs that need to be filled by 2020 to cope with rapid expansion and market demand, according to the British Hospitality Association. 

The association also said 60,000 of these jobs have been earmarked for young people aged between 16 and 24.

The industry, however, still faces the challenge of combating “out-of-date” views about the types of careers it can offer.

In a press statement, Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “There are still widespread misconceptions amongst many outside the industry who don’t see the value in hospitality careers.”

Chris Kimmins, operations manager of One Step Recruitment, based in Taunton, told Recruiter that despite the fact that the hospitality sector is extremely “prevalent” in the South-West there are still skills shortages.

Part of the problem, said Kimmins is that people don’t believe the catering industry is a “viable long-term career option”. Kimmins also said that the seasonal nature of the work and use of zero-hours contracts made it more difficult for employers to retain talent.

As part of efforts to address skills shortages, One Step Recruitment is setting up its own in-house hospitality training programme for those interested in working in the industry. Hospitality training provider Hit Training will also be attending the recruiter’s careers fair, which is taking place in Somerset on 15 October. Those that visit stands will get to try their hand at cake decorating and ‘mocktail’ making.

Mike Gardner, director of operations at hospitality and catering recruiter Berkeley Scott, told Recruiter: “At the operational level it is still a good industry to get into. It is still very much a rags to riches type of industry where you can start life as a waiter and end up as a general manager of a hotel.” He added: “If you go in at quite a junior level and you’re really keen you can work your way up really fast because [employers] want people that know their business.”