Next week, from October 3 and October 9, is Hospitality Apprenticeships Week 2022.

Hospitality Apprenticeships Week is an industry-wide opportunity to showcase all the unique and diverse career pathways our sector provides, and hopefully change many people’s misconceptions about taking up hospitality as a career.

As far as everyone here at Prime is concerned, the message Hospitality Apprenticeships Week sends couldn’t come at a better time.

Between the current economic meltdown and the double-whammy of Brexit and Covid, the hospitality industry is arguably still under more pressure than any other industry out there, and with the festive season approaching there are still a record number of vacancies that hospitality employers are finding it very hard to fill.

Hospitality Apprenticeships Week is our industry’s chance to show the world what an incredible sector this is to work in. It’s a chance to challenge the mistaken but increasingly popular view that hospitality only offers short-term jobs that lack progression and that being a hospitality employee is stressful and joyless with low pay and long hours and constantly feeling undervalued.

We know that’s not true. So do you.

Hospitality Apprenticeships Week is our chance, as a nationwide community of hospitality professionals, to show the world what a fabulous industry UK hospitality is.

Here’s what Kate Nicholls, Chief of UKHospitality, recently said about Hospitality Apprenticeships Week: “Initiatives such as this are incredibly important in shifting the level of understanding around what working in our amazing sector actually means and to show people the career opportunities that it presents. Ours is a creative, vibrant and fun sector in which people can go from bar to board in a very short timeframe. If the industry gets behind the week we can educate, engage, and employ people of all levels of experience across the UK, not only helping to solve the current staff shortages but futureproofing the industry by attracting the brightest and best.”

There’s a lot to unpack in that statement, but for us, when we first read it, it was the following three words that jumped out:

Creative. Vibrant. Fun.

Why those three words in particular?

Maybe because, after all the doom and gloom of the past few years, it’s been easy to forget how creative, vibrant, and fun our industry can be. Yes, it’s still vitally important to offer competitive pay, better career development, a healthier work/life balance, and do everything we can to make our team members feel more valued. After all, our team members are the lifeblood of our business, and without them, the hospitality industry wouldn’t exist. We’re seeing proof of that right now, with the vast number of venues that are struggling to stay open because they can’t find the staff to make that happen.

But, while we’ve all been (quite rightfully) so intent on the mechanics of what we need to do to persuade the brightest and best to work for us, a lot of us seem to have forgotten why we were drawn to the hospitality industry in the first place.

Because it was creative, vibrant, and fun.

What made you join our industry?

I’ll bet it wasn’t for the fantastic money, easy work and sociable hours.

I think there’s an excellent chance that most hospitality professionals were first attracted to our industry because it’s creative, vibrant, and fun.

(As well as being welcoming, all-inclusive, and an exciting place where a million different things are likely to happen every day.)

Also, when you work in hospitality, you’re genuinely an essential part of a team. True, there are plenty of other jobs out there where teamwork’s important, but hospitality is different. It’s bonding. A hospitality team is like a family. A family that’s creative, vibrant and fun.

How creative, vibrant, and fun is your workplace right now?

How creative, vibrant and fun are your team members currently feeling?

When you’re looking to recruit new staff, would you even describe your business or venue as a creative, vibrant and fun place to be a part of?

Maybe, if you did, more candidates would apply.

Maybe, if all hospitality employers explored ways to inject more creativity, vibrancy and fun into their workplaces, many of the terrific people who left our industry during COVID will remember why they joined our industry in the first place and think seriously about returning?

Over the next few days, current apprentices, former apprentices, and employers are being encouraged to use #MoreThanAJob on their social media to tell potential recruits about the wide-ranging roles and development opportunities hospitality can offer.

At Prime,  we believe that Hospitality Apprenticeships Week is a brilliant initiative and we’re wholeheartedly behind it.

But, more than that, we also believe it’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone in our industry to show everyone else outside our industry (not just apprentices) that hospitality isn’t only packed full of exciting career choices, it’s a creative, vibrant, and fun industry to work in too.

If you were a prospective candidate trying to find a place to belong in our increasingly grim world, wouldn’t you want to work for an employer where creativity, vibrancy, and fun are celebrated? (along with better pay, better career development, and feeling more valued and rewarded, of course.)

We know we would.

#MoreThanAJob

Don’t forget, whenever you want the best and brightest recruits to join your team, you can always rely on Prime to find the exceptional long-term and short-term candidates you’re looking for. Give us a call on 020 7580 4398 or email info@primerec.co.uk to find out more.

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