The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has called for hospitality and tourism to be given “greater prominence” by educators.
This comes after new figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that 15% (120,000) of the total 820,000 new jobs created last year, were in hospitality and tourism. This was more than the industries of construction, education, health or social work.
According to these figures, the hospitality industry created 13 new jobs per hour every day last year.
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA, described the current education system as “hoarding young people in academia” and claimed a greater recognition of vocational courses would help the hospitality make a “greater contribution to driving youth employment.”
Ibrahim said: “There is still snobbish snubbing of vocational opportunities, which enable young people to choose on-the-job training over purely academic courses. We are asking government to help us turn this around by involving more businesses in the classroom.
“Many young people are currently being trained in academia for the wrong types of jobs so we need to find a better way to showcase the real job opportunities available.”
Research by the BHA suggests that the hospitality sector will generate 300,000 new jobs by 2020 and is already on its way there with over 33% of those jobs already delivered.
Simon Vincent, executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East & Africa of Hilton Worldwide, said: “The labour market statistics show continued optimism and recognise the significant contribution our industry makes to the UK economy.
“Hospitality and tourism impacts every UK region and provides a diverse range of jobs, offering huge potential for further growth in this sector across the UK – but we can only take full advantage of this if we continue to innovate and attract talented people into the industry.”