Updated: Mar 31, 2020
For the last few years I have had the pleasure of working with celebrity chefs, visited and eaten at some of the most wonderful and most awful restaurants, hotels and cafes, attended cookery classes and like most of us had a few nights at a hotel (again boutique and award winning to the most basic accommodation). With my own food events business I have realised the work involved in organising small as well as huge corporate affairs and all of these roles, at all of these establishments high or low end are all part of the neglected hospitality industry.
The hospitality sector is the fourth-largest industry in the UK, directly employing over 2.9 million people, larger than other industries such as financial services, manufacturing, construction, defence and public administration. The sector has created one-third of all new jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds, but the frustrations of being perceived as the employment sector of “last resort” remain.
The hospitality and events industry is an exciting and varied career destination for young people studying at all levels and in a wide variety of skills areas. Working in Secondary Schools I have been asked several times about how one gets into the hospitality industry? What are the routes in and particularly with schools cutting classes in Food Tech and related subjects, its a great question. Having talked with friends and acquantinces in the recruitment industry I do think hospitality is being overlooked. Therefore when I had the opportunity to attend a Young Chef dinner in Wandsworth last year and met some key names in the hospitality industry I was keen to learn more about what Learn Train Recruit offer as a company.
LTR provide some great flyers and of course detailed information via their website on ‘Getting the Hospitality Job’, ‘How to get into Events’ etc..
Getting young people into jobs in hospitality is not as simple as it sounds and Learn Train Recruit not only are a recruitment agency but is also a training provider for the hospitality and events industry. They recruit & train hospitality people of all levels whether working in part time of full time roles. They partner with some great agencies and companies to provide funding for some of these training projects particularly when working with schools and colleges to raise the profile of the industry.
Training and experience is what every Employer wants and personally its something I have looked into and attended online and in person over the years to increase my knowledge. Learn Train Recruit offers over 26 different courses such as :
Introduction to Banqueting & Events Training Certificate (LTR)
Introduction to Silver Service Training Certificate (LTR)
Introduction to Barista & Coffee Training Certificate (LTR)
Train The Trainer (LTR)
Occupational Health & Safety Foundation & Intermediate (CIEH)
Their newest training material, just finalised is a qualification in social skills and cultural awareness in hospitality and tourism. The curriculum focuses on two key areas: Interpersonal or social skills and cultural awareness skills. Now this is something that I had firstly never thought about (like most people I would probably take most of this for granted) and secondly was curious to know how this had been achieved over the 2 year European wide project. This project has been called the CS Tour is approved by the EU and its aim is:
to create and test a customised training programme for European citizens working in the tourism and hospitality industry.
to develop interpersonal and cultural awareness skills
and to develop the ability to recognise cultural differences in personal values and behaviour, and acquire the knowledge to manage cultural diversity.
I attended a session on the CS Tour, or Wrap Up event at the Learn Train Recruit offices in London Bridge. I sat next to a girl from Bulgaria and so when it came to some fun exercises round the room, I suddenly understood the importance of talking and understanding cultural differences.
Understanding our own culture and recognising our own stereotypes and biases was an interesting discussion. Most important for me was the body language element. Of course, gestures and body language have different meanings, smile will never be misunderstood but too much eye contact can be seen as quite intimidating in Finland and Japan, making the Finns quite embarrassed at another’s stare. The ears as shown in this image, crossing and uncrossing the legs, shaking the head all body language that I learnt and will certainly try and remember.