John Lennon over half a century ago wrote his most famous hit Imagine.
The lyrics asked you to imagine a world of peace, without materialism, without borders separating nations and without religion.
But did he leave a few things out?
“The hospitality industry is one of the most important industries, one that no on can live without,” a 19-year-old female from Queensland told us.
“Imagine not being able to get away and stay in a hotel, imagine not being able to eat your favourite steak, salad and chips for dinner at the local pub.
“Who would we be without them. I would love to work in this industry just to makes someone’s day better.”
Her profound response came as part of our survey on careers in the hospitality industry for our free online Cheers to Careers hospitality course made in conjunction with the NSW Government which shows young people how to have a 5 star career in the hospitality sector.
She was one of over 300 Australian youth aged 15 to 24 nationally in our survey who told us what they thought of the hospitality industry as it cries out for more workers to take it up as a long-term career path.
Just 12% of young Australians said they’d ‘likely’ or ‘definitely’ pursue a career in hospitality (to be clear, we’re referring to full-time careers, not casual hospitality work while studying which is a right of passage in Australia).
And while one in five (20%) said they felt neutral about hospitality, 48% said they were ‘unlikely’ to consider the industry as a career, while 20% said ‘definitely not’.
However, more than half (53%) of young people said they had a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ view of the hospitality industry, while one in three (33%) said they felt neutral with just 14% said they had a negative or very negative opinion.
But why? To find out we asked what barriers they had to pursuing a career in hospitality and found the top reasons were the salary is not competitive, being on your feet all day and the long hours.
An 18-year-old female from Victoria told us in the survey, “personally I think the hospitality industry is an important yet under-appreciated sector.
“Having worked in hospitality I know the highs and lows, which is why I wouldn’t partake in a long term career in it.
“It can be challenging to work in such a fast-paced environment especially at a young age, however this industry also allows individuals to develop skills and gain opportunities to earn more responsibility and grow in status/roles.
“But even with these perks I personally feel like the cons outweigh the pros, as it can be very long hours, some businesses don’t pay penalty rates on public holidays and are overwhelmingly busy. Overall I see why many choose to go down this career path but I don’t think it’s for me.”
And like 21% of the young Australians we surveyed, a 17-year-old male from NSW said he’d not really considered a lifetime career in hospitality because he just doesn’t know enough about it.
“I think there would be many opportunities in this industry, however it is not encouraged as a career path by schools and thereby students often do not know about courses available to them,” a 21-year-old female from South Australia told us.
“I think that if there is more focus toward the opportunities that hospitality can provide, and where careers can lead, there would be less of an employee shortage in this industry and people would be more willing to give these jobs a go.”
This lack of understanding means many people aren’t fully aware of the huge amount of career paths in the hospitality industry including hotel management, club management, restaurant management, cafe management, bar management, event management, chef, sommelier, receptionist, sales, marketing, functions staff, waiter, human resources, gaming attendant, security, housekeeping, concierge, food retail, receptionist, barista, baker and hotel maintenance.
To help bridge that knowledge gap our Cheers to Careers Academy is a fun and free crash course through the wide world of hospitality that shows how young Australians can build the career of a lifetime.
And you can earn while you learn by earning points for each module you complete which you can cash out for rewards.
So check it out and send it on to any young people you know who you think may suit a career in hospitality.