It’s worrying to see so much young, fresh talent going to waste because of the stigma attached to vocational course. The hospitality industry, for example, is full of entrepreneurs, creativity, talent and energy and it has a great contribution to make to society and the future of Britain. We need to encourage educators to see this promise and help us to share our passion with their students.
I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to career choice hospitality is often overlooked and it’s down to us, along with careers advisors, parents, teachers and other influencers, to showcase its strengths to young people and inspire them to see the potential in a hospitality career.
In Europe, it’s considered to be a rewarding, progressive and aspirational career. Yet there seems to be a stigma hanging over it here, something as a last resort perhaps, a job without prospects. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Entry level roles can offer young people a promising alternative to the price tag attached to going to university and not only that, quick progression and a worthy career with countless training opportunities available through employers.
As a patron for the Edge Hotel School – the UK’s first full-time training hotel – and the lead sponsor of The Gold Service Scholarship – a UK scholarship for front of house professionals – I couldn’t be more of an advocate for vocational courses. I believe very strongly that they have a very important role to play in the British economy and supporting our young people to achieve the best in life.
Chairman and chief executive of Westbury Street Holdings