Personal skills the way to a career
There are more opportunities for a career in hospitality than there are for tourism, says Hospitality Association of New Zealand chief executive Bruce Robertson.
‘‘Hospitality is actually at the heart of tourism,’’ he said, but too many young people are being lured into tourism training in the hope of a glamorous job.
Mr Robertson was speaking to local secondary teachers and career advisers at a recent breakfast hosted by Partners Porirua.
The talk covered the opportunities available in the hospitality sector where a 30 per cent turnover each year means a high demand for young people to enter the workforce.
‘‘The challenge is to keep the good ones.’’
There are numerous opportunities in hospitality largely because New Zealanders are spoilt for choice for cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars, all offering their service at competitive prices, said Mr Roberston.
While young staff will find their starting salaries low, there is the opportunity to earn higher salaries very quickly.
An executive chef with 10 years experience could be earning $150,000, while a young manager in the hotel and accommodation sector could be earning $120,000 by the time they are 30, he said.
Currently there is a significant skills shortage in chefing, supervision and management.
‘‘One of the challenges is to create pathways from school into the sector.’’
Mr Robertson said the sector was more reliant on good personal attributes like a good work ethic, communications skills, being focused on service and the ability to engage with people.
Belinda Wotton, owner of the Peppermill Delicatessen, employs 20 staff and is regularly employing young people. While she agreed there was ‘‘ glam’’ about the tourism sector, competitions and championships such as Barista competitions were injecting some new ‘‘glam’’ into the hospitality industry.
‘‘Unlike Europe, table waiting is not seen as a career here,’’ said Ms Wotton.
Qualifications can be helpful but practice counts, she said.
A new person will have to make about 200 coffees before they should be let loose on a paying customer.
She agreed with Mr Roberston that personal attributes were important.
Partners Porirua will be investigating the hospitality sector as a career opportunity rather than a transitional job for young school leavers.
Hospitable talk: Sandi Savage, left, and Michelle Robinson from Partners Porirua flank Hospitality Association of New Zealand chief executive Bruce Robertson at the recent breakfast.