This article is part of our Brexit Survival Guide: Practical Tips for Hospitality Businesses series, and is written by the Chief Executive of the Institute of Hospitality, Peter Ducker.

Hospitality is a global and growing industry: it is the UK’s fourth largest employer representing 10% of the nation’s workforce, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP. On top of that, the number of people travelling for work and for leisure is increasing on a global scale.

Hospitality is a relatively safe industry to work in: people always need food, drink and somewhere to sleep. To that point, the industry has continued to expand, and generally performed well during the last recession.

Because hotels, restaurants and catering services are found all over the world, hospitality skills are very transferable, making a hospitality career a viable way to discover new countries, new cultures and personal growth.

To see our sector as a long-term proposition, the career possibilities must be made very clear to new entrants.

During their induction, new team members should have their own potential path explained to them starting from entry-level positions up to senior leadership roles. They must also learn about the company’s training and development programme. Our sector has a very strong record for rewarding talent and promoting ambitious and hard-working individuals quickly.

Half of all the roles in the industry are skilled. If you work for a global hotel chain, for example, these will include sales and marketing, human resources, revenue management, business development, engineering, accounting and finance. Career movement can be lateral as well as upwards. People may start in finance but then move into revenue management, or use their experience as a housekeeping supervisor to specialise in HR and recruitment.

Having an external mentor is a highly effective way of giving new entrants an experienced and sympathetic ear, and an alternative perspective on work and career-related matters. In addition to lifelong learning and educational resources, joining a professional membership organisation, such as the Institute of Hospitality, gives professionals a sense of belonging and a highly valuable network in what is a very diverse industry.


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