Most parents see a job in hospitality as being in the lowest category of careers for their children, a recent survey by the Best Western Careers Index.

Do we need to have a serious rethink about how we encourage young people into catering. The falling numbers of NVQ full-time students at catering  college is at an all-time low. College principals think this is just a sign of the times that fewer youngsters wanted the antisocial working hours and the hard graft. But can it be that one of the biggest issues is that parents discourage young people away from a career in catering? It seems this might indeed be the case.

More than 40% of parents would actively discourage their children from working in hospitality, a survey has found.

The Best Western Careers Index report from independent hotel group Best Western Great Britain revealed that 42% would discourage their child from a career in hospitality, despite an estimated 90,000 jobs being available in the sector.

Some 52% of parents said their reasoning was due to long hours, while 60% said it was because of poor pay.

The independent survey was completed by more than 1,000 parents. It revealed medicine is the top preferred career, followed by accountancy and architecture.

Sales professionals, farmers and hospitality professionals are the least preferred careers for children.

Best Western also surveyed its hotels on the topic where it found 60% of owners said the most difficult job position to recruit for was chefs.

Rob Payne, Best Western’s CEO, said: “We have enjoyed incredible broadcast exposure for our industry over the last 20 years, probably more media profile than any other industry, and yet despite that we are struggling to fill positions and persuade parents and young people that hospitality is a first choice career and not just a summer job.”

He added: “It offers great, diverse and rewarding careers offering fast promotion opportunities based on hard work, not grades, providing school leavers and graduates with a career for life and yet we are clearly suffering a lack of confidence in our industry and its prospects.”

Results of survey

Top 10 preferred careers by parents:
Doctors – 47%
Accountants – 39%
Architects – 37%
Engineers – 36%
Dentists 34%
IT specialists – 33%
Law professionals – 30%
Finance professionals – 27%
Scientists – 26%
Vets – 25%

Bottom 10 careers according to parents:
Sales professionals – 10%
Farmers – 11%
Hospitality professionals – 12%
Drivers and chauffeurs – 13%
Hairdressers and beauty professionals – 14%
Cleaners – 14%
Journalists – 15%
Public services professionals – 15%
Professional athletes – 15%
Hospitality management including general manager, directors etc. – 15%

By Stella West- Harling