Can the hospitality sector do more to create jobs?

With the problems regarding employment around the world continuing to rumble on, and the hospitality sector continuing to be a major player in terms of providing jobs, is it time that the industry did more?

Obviously hotels, pubs and restaurants have hardships to face and can't go handing out hospitality jobs with reckless abandon –  because of the need to keep the books balanced –  but there may be a way they can do a little bit more.

Or, at least, that's according to Christopher J. Nassetta, the president and chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide, who has voiced his opinion that the sector can help provide more opportunities, especially for younger people.

He was speaking at the World Economic Forum where the results of a commissioned whitepaper from the International Youth Foundation (IYF) were reviewed.

The document suggested that the industry was well set to offer more jobs to those of a younger age because it has the resources, expertise and career pathways which are perfectly in-tune with the issues modern people face.

Hilton has recently launched its Bright Blue Futures programme which aims to promote youth development around the world in a number of different roles and Mr Nassetta said programmes such as these would undoubtedly help.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to prevent a lost generation of young people by helping them acquire the life skills and job training they need to be successful in the workplace and beyond," he said.

"As a global citizen and a leader in one of the largest industries in the world, we have a business imperative and responsibility to develop solutions that preserve our collective futures."

According to the IYF document, there are real benefits for companies too if they invest in young people and upskill the workers they have on board currently.

Indeed, it suggests there are few industries who rely quite as much as on having a well-trained staff across the world as hospitality.

This is only expected to continue too, with the travel and tourism sector predicted to create around 73 million new jobs by 2022, a major addition to the 225 million workers it has currently.

William S. Reese, president and chief executive officer of the IYF, said hospitality couldn't solve all the major employment issues itself but added that it could do a great deal of good.

"This paper and Hilton Worldwide’s leadership provide a critical foundation for how hospitality companies can respond to youth development strategically, while also supporting their business goals," he said.  

By doing this, not only can people achieve their dream careers in the hospitality sector, companies are able to move the industry forward as well.

As part of the Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality paper, the IYF lays out three things that those in the industry need to do.

These are, to design a youth development strategy, enabling cooperation with other figures to create best practice guidelines and measure and track progress towards set preassigned goals.

However, as the whitepaper acknowledges, businesses will need assistance from both governments and the non-governmental organisation community to make this work.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality work

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