A fu­ture

Job se­cu­rity looms for those who stick with hos­pi­tal­ity, write De­bra Bela and Cara Jenkin

The Advertiser - Careers - - Front Page -

YOUNG work­ers who look be­yond a hos­pi­tal­ity job be­ing a step­ping stone to a ‘‘ real’’ ca­reer and recog­nise the long-term po­ten­tial of the in­dus­try will ben­e­fit through its pre­dicted jobs growth.

Hos­pi­tal­ity strug­gles to re­tain many staff, with the Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics’ Labour Mo­bil­ity Sur­vey sug­gest­ing about 30 per cent of hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers leave the oc­cu­pa­tion each year.

The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try has a young work­force, with 45 per cent aged 25 years or younger, as many school leavers take en­try-level jobs to help fund univer­sity or vocational cour­ses. On grad­u­a­tion, they typ­i­cally move out of hos­pi­tal­ity and into the pro­fes­sion of their qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

The turnover is cost­ing work­ers the chance to se­cure a suc­cess­ful ca­reer by us­ing the years of ex­pe­ri­ence they al­ready have un­der their belt.

Sub­stan­tial growth is forecast in many hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tors, par­tic­u­larly cafe, restau­rant and take­away food, which now em­ploys 66 per cent of the hos­pi­tal­ity work­force, or 489,000 peo­ple na­tion­ally.

It is pre­dicted to grow by 10.4 per cent in the next five years. The num­ber of jobs for cafe and restau­rant man­agers is ex­pected to be 6.4 per cent greater by 2017. Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nom­ics labour force pro­jec­tions es­ti­mate that with­out pol­icy change, the short­age in hos­pi­tal­ity tourism work­ers will in­crease to 56,000 by 2015, with about half of the po­si­tions likely to be in skilled oc­cu­pa­tions: kitchen­hands, wait­ers, man­agers and chefs.

Restau­rant and Ca­ter­ing SA chief ex­ec­u­tive Sally Neville says there is a ‘‘ mas­sive’’ short­age of ex­pe­ri­enced hos­pi­tal­ity staff in South Aus­tralia.

Ex­pe­ri­enced cooks, chefs and restau­rant man­agers are the hard­est po­si­tions to fill.

She says there are many newly qual­i­fied re­cruits to the in­dus­try but they do not yet hold the ad­vanced skills re­quired of them.

‘‘ The de­mand for ex­pe­ri­enced staff in hos­pi­tal­ity has con­tin­ued to grow,’’ she says. ‘‘ It was grow­ing about 7 per cent, in the past 10 years.

‘‘ Post-GFC, there has been a slight drop off but there’s still growth of 3 per cent. ‘‘ So it’s still grow­ing.’’ She says the growth has been de­spite busi­nesses clos­ing in the past year.

‘‘ Even though there’s re­duced out­let num­bers, the de­mand in ex­ist­ing busi­ness is still strong,’’ Neville says.

In South Aus­tralia, 52,000 peo­ple work in hos­pi­tal­ity, of which 33,000 are part-time.

There are 35,000 peo­ple em­ployed in the cafe, restau­rant and take­away sec­tor, 10,000 peo­ple work in pubs, tav­erns and bars and 5000 peo­ple are em­ployed in ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Neville says now is the time for stu­dents who want to try hos­pi­tal­ity to get work, re­veal­ing there are ‘‘ more busi­nesses look­ing for more staff than avail­able bod­ies’’.

Qual­ity Train­ing and Hos­pi­tal­ity Col­lege di­rec­tor Richard Fin­layson says it is help­ing to fill the void of ex­pe­ri­enced work­ers by train­ing its stu­dents in a real restau­rant.

‘‘ They are part of a live hos­pi­tal­ity en­vi­ron­ment, in­ter­act­ing with chefs and more ex­pe­ri­enced staff, giv­ing them a chance to de­velop skills and con­fi­dence but most of all gain in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he says. The col­lege has its own ca­ter­ing busi­ness, Qual­ity Ca­ter­ing, which cur­rently holds the con­tract for Wis­te­ria Restau­rant at Ade­laide Zoo.

It is where bar and wait­ing stu­dents prac­tise their ser­vice and chefs prac­tise in the a-lacarte kitchen un­der the su­per­vi­sion of their train­ers.

‘‘ All the top hos­pi­tal­ity schools around the world use train­ing restau­rants,’’ Fin­layson says.

‘‘ It is the best way to pre­pare stu­dents for the re­al­ity of work­ing in the in­dus­try.’’

Tim Grech, 19, stud­ied his Cer­tifi­cate II in Hos­pi­tal­ity through the col­lege and now has a Cer­tifi­cate IV in Hos­pi­tal­ity un­der way.

When he left school, he was not sure what to pur­sue and his mother en­cour­aged him to en­rol in the Cer­tifi­cate II.

‘‘ Hos­pi­tal­ity al­ways has that sort of ca­reer path avail­able in any coun­try,’’ he says.

‘‘ A lot of young peo­ple like that as an idea, to travel and work at the same time.’’

Now a food and bev­er­age at­ten­dant, he says hos­pi­tal­ity is good bridg­ing work, es­pe­cially for those who are un­sure about what ca­reer to take, be­cause there are ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties within the in­dus­try and it also teaches skills that are in de­mand by other fields, such as how to cope in high­pres­sure sit­u­a­tions.


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