Patrick Dempsey, Chairman of the Big Hospitality Conversation and MD Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants:“Hospitality is a vibrant growing industry with a lot to offer…There is a huge pool of talent in the 16-24 age group and we are committed to helping raise awareness amongst the 1 million young people that are unemployed, not in education or training, offering significant opportunities for them to join and develop their careers within the hospitality industry. We will train young people, provide them with qualifications and long term prospects within a sustainable and thriving industry….We welcome the support of the Tourism Minister to the ‘Big Hospitality Conversation’ and for supporting us in raising awareness of the job and career opportunities that exist within our sector”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson: “Thanks to London’s international appeal as a top tourist destination, hospitality is one of the city’s boom industries and it is superb to have the support of the British Hospitality Association

Minister for Tourism Helen Grant:“Working in the tourism and hospitality sector can offer a rewarding, challenging and fulfilling career and the British Hospitality Association’s Big Conversation initiative is playing a part in highlighting the opportunities available to young people.”  Subsequently the Minister said: “The commitment of the hospitality and tourism industry to creating jobs and supporting young people has been brought into sharp focus by the British Hospitality Association’s Big Conversation.”

Thomas Dubaere, Managing Director, Accor UK and Ireland: “We are keen to highlight the vast opportunities that hospitality has to offer young people in the UK. We have welcomed the chance to discuss this with the Minister and hope we have been able to show the real difference that hospitality can make to unemployment through apprenticeships, structured work placements and job creation.”

Mark Hoban, former Minister for Employment: “The collaboration between Jobcentre Plus and the British Hospitality Association has been extremely successful, and it’s fantastic to see the industry come together…to create 30,000 opportunities for young people.

Says Big Hospitality Conversation former Director James Latham:  “Since the Big Conversation’s conception almost two years ago we’ve noticed a real shift in how the young people approach the events.  It’s as much about employers impressing them as it is visa versa and in some cases the young people are educating employers about technology trends and innovations. It seems to me that the old order is shifting and new rules are coming into play in the world of work in the hospitality sector.”

Says Graeme Codrington, expert of the new world of work:  “If we think about today’s young people and their aspirations and ideals, it becomes really clear that their value set is radically different from ours.  The hospitality employers I’ve spoken to want to understand why this change has happened and how to tackle it.  Has technology created it, or is it cultural.  Is this just something to just ‘sit out’ before everything goes back to normal or have things changed forever?”

Graeme’s view is clear and he believes that today’s young people are shaped by a different world.  “We are in the midst of what I call ‘a moment of change.’  We now find ourselves in the transition between the ‘before’ and ‘after’.  A twilight era where yesterday’s value sets are morphing and evolving into new territory.  Today’s generation of young people is the first to work in the ‘after’ world which has been shaped by a plethora of contributory factors.”

In his opinion, the implications of this ‘after’ world and their impact on the workplace need to be understood, and the BHA’s James Latham doesn’t disagree:  “Hospitality and tourism has so much to offer young people starting out in the world of work and there are multiple opportunities for hard working and positive apprentices, and those seeking work placements and first jobs.  I think the biggest challenge for all of us is understanding young people and getting under the skin of what makes them tick.  It seems to me that while we’ve been working hard there has been a silent revolution going on and we, as an industry, need to join the revolution and help to shape the outcome.”

Graeme Codrington was a keynote speaker at the Hospitality & Tourism Summit 2014 which was this year hosted by Accord at Novotel London West on Thursday 5th June.

The new world of work according to Graeme Codrington…

Graeme Codrington is an expert on the changing world of work and multi-generational workplaces. He is a keynote presenter, author, futurist, facilitator and strategy consultant working across multiple industries and sectors. His unique style blends cutting-edge research, thought leading insights with humour and multimedia-driven presentations and workshops.

He has a particular interest in trends affecting how people live, work, interact and connect with each other. He speaks on the TIDES of change – the five disruptive forces shaping the new world of work in the next decade: Technology, Institutional change, Demographics, the Environment and shifting Social values.

“People are at the heart of hospitality and tourism.  And the very nature of this industry means that generally it is young people at the frontline of any hospitality business.

One of the biggest challenges facing hospitality businesses across the UK (and, in fact, across the globe) is that today’s young people have a different value set from previous generations.  Their world views and expectations are evolving.   This poses a significant challenge for those responsible for the recruitment of young people.