Fred Sirieix, general manager at Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows on Park Lane, London, has backed a national campaign to get more young people into hospitality.
The First Dates maitre d’ has produced a video in support of My Hospitality Life, an initiative launched by the Edge Hotel School, Essex, amid concerns Brexit will create a skills gap in the hospitality industry.
Sharing his love for hospitality, Sirieix said: “You could be working in a wide variety of roles. From being a chef or a waiter, to managing events, such as weddings, concerts or even festivals, to international hotel marketing, working on cruise liners or even being a general manager of a five-star hotel.
“You have the choice to work anywhere in the world, from exotic locations to vibrant cities, or even in your home town. It really is one of the most varied and exciting industries in the world. There is a role for everyone.”
Research has suggested that just 22% of 16 to 21-year-olds in the UK would consider a career in hospitality, a worrying statistic as reports suggest that Brexit could create a shortfall of 750,000 workers.
Principal of the Edge Hotel School Andrew Boer, who devised the campaign, said: “The reality is we don’t currently have enough home-grown talent to fill the positions that are likely to become available. We didn’t have that before and – as things stand – we certainly won’t have it in a few years’ time after we leave the EU.
“We want to reverse that trend so that we have a workforce fit for the future. Currently young people aren’t aware of just how vibrant and exciting a career in hospitality can be.
“There’s a perception that it’s all about making beds or waiting tables. But it’s much more than that. It can lead to a whole variety of roles that span design, revenue management, finance, talent development, law and marketing. It involves real business acumen.”
Representatives from the Edge Hotel School are visiting schools and colleges throughout the UK to promote the hospitality industry and highlight the opportunities available.
My Hospitality Life has been launched in partnership with the Edge Foundation and the Springboard Charity, which helps disadvantaged and underprivileged young people find work in hospitality, leisure and tourism.