Teach kids about food, say parents

An overwhelming proportion of parents believe that children should learn about food as part of the school curriculum.

Research from HIT Training found strong agreement among 1,000 parents surveyed that the hospitality sector should be given a greater focus in schools with 86% of parents saying food subjects should be taught as part of the curriculum.

Over a third (38%) of teachers, meanwhile, say that schools do not currently provide enough advice about jobs in hospitality to meet employment demand.

The study found positive perceptions among both parents and teachers about a career in the hospitality sector. Three quarters (76%) of parents and over half (55%) of teachers believe that jobs in hospitality offer a long-term career route that will help young people develop lifelong skills.

Responses also suggest that young people are more open to exploring careers in hospitality with one in five teachers reporting an increase in pupils asking for information about jobs in hospitality in recent years.

Negative perceptions of a career in hospitality persist among certain adults. Over a third (35%) of parents still believe hospitality careers have anti-social working hours and over a quarter (26%) say it’s a ‘stop gap’ between school and university.

“We know there’s still a lack of understanding about what careers in this industry can offer in terms of progression, satisfaction and reward, which has resulted in a number of barriers preventing new talent entering the industry,” said Jill Whittaker, managing director at HIT Training. “However, there’s a huge opportunity for hospitality employers to maximise these encouraging perceptions from parents and teachers to attract and retain top talent and work towards closing the skills gap crippling the industry.”

Whittaker suggested that employers in the sector can do this by ensuring they’re making effective work experience opportunities available, forging stronger relationships with schools to offer first-hand hospitality experiences, and providing more sector specific information to schools and parents.

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