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86% of hospitality students remain committed to a career in the industry but work-life balance, pay and development highlighted as critical to retention

01 July 2021

A survey by People 1st International with hospitality students reveals their commitment to the industry despite ongoing disruption due to Covid, helping reassure industry leaders of a future pipeline of skilled talent. However, work-life balance, pay and learning & development lead as critical factors for attracting and retaining this talent pool.    

The survey, conducted with students at Hospitality Accredited colleges, shows that whilst industry is facing an immediate staff shortage with many workers leaving their jobs during lockdown, those currently studying to gain the skills required by industry remain enthusiastic about a career in hospitality.  

On 86% of students from Hospitality Accredited Colleges confirming their intention to enter the industry once they complete their studies, Sean Wheeler, People & Culture Consultant and Chair of the Hospitality Employer-Led College Accreditation Board, comments:

“The resilience and determination of Hospitality Accredited colleges to continue to produce the best students and cultivate their passion for the industry in the midst of a pandemic that has had devastating consequences on the sector cannot go unnoticed.

“Maintaining the profile of our industry and arming students with the skills needed to support businesses as they rebuild, and sustaining their enthusiasm to build a career in the sector deserves recognition. The results of this survey demonstrate the commitment of these students. This talent pool is certainly one I’d be targeting as an employer.”

Sandra Kelly, UK Director, People 1st International adds:

“The results of this survey are a fantastic testament to the work of Hospitality Accredited Colleges in stimulating their passion for hospitality, but it’s clear to see that future employees want flexibility, opportunity and secure income.”

The survey showed that the top three factors in attracting students to and making them stay in a job are:

  1. Work-life balance
  2. Pay
  3. Learning & development

Kathryn Porter, Chair of the employer-led Hospitality Skills & Quality board adds:

“On behalf of employers on the Hospitality Skills & Quality Board we would like to recognise the contribution of Hospitality Accredited Colleges. It is their innovative, flexible and resilient approach that means we can be confident of the future talent pipeline being developed for hospitality.

“To retain this valuable talent in our industry, we need to offer the right environment for people to flourish. A step change is required to achieve a cultural shift and develop more responsible managers and leaders who have a social conscience and look after their teams, the reality is our industry is packed with amazing diverse and accessible opportunities.”

View the summary findings here

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