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Students looking for jobs in hospitality on the up

Published:  08 October, 2018

The number of students looking for jobs in the hospitality sector has surged as the new academic year approaches.

In the past four months, students registered with Adia increased by a significant 83% compared with the first four months of 2018, according to the hospitality recruitment specialist.

It added that students had grown to account for 44% of the total number of jobseekers on the platform – a figure it said had grown steadily across the past 12 months.

The spike in registrations came on the back of students increasingly looking to the hospitality sector for employment, said the business, adding this was spurred on by the number of students now working part-time having grown to seven out of 10.

The trend presented companies in the hospitality industry – many of which are facing an uphill battle finding high-calibre employees – with a “great opportunity” to plug staffing gaps, said Ernesto Lamaina, Adia chief executive.

“Students are increasingly seeking work in the hospitality industry and businesses operating in the sector should look to them as potential employees, with them naturally looking for sources of income to support themselves while studying, particularly if they’re moving away from home,” he said.

It was clear that many now recognised the hospitality industry as one where there was an “abundance of opportunities for work”, he added.

“At a time when staffing shortages are high on the agenda for companies of all sizes, students should be viewed as quality and flexible part-time employees,” he said.

With recruitment having become a “significant issue”, the renewed interest in the industry was “excellent news”, said Liberty boss David Gleave MW.

“Anything that makes it easier for our customers to do business is good news for suppliers too. The more young people see what it is like to work with quality producers in a professional setting, and the more they start to learn about the provenance of wines and the stories behind them, the better for the future of the industry,” he said.

M Restaurants, which created the M & Bookatable by Michelin UK Young Chef of the Year competition to attract this demographic and support them in the early stages of their careers, also welcomed the news, saying it would look to tap into the opportunity as it sought to expand its portfolio.

“It is great that the hospitality industry is now being seen as a viable career in the UK,” said founder and CEO Martin Williams, although it has yet to materialise into applications to the restaurants, he said.

A recent survey of 4,642 students by insurance firm Endsleigh and the National Union of Students found that 77% of students worked, with 66% of respondents saying they had a part-time job, while 33% claimed to work part-time during term time.

With the threat of Brexit, coupled with a weaker pound, making it hard for businesses to attract temporary workers, the industry has also been urged to embrace the “now economy” by using technology to plug staffing gaps by using social media recruiting, app-based or other “innovative methods” in order to reach “quality flexible workers faster and in greater numbers”, as outlined in a white paper released last month.