On the odd occasion that I’m released from the office, and allowed to speak to the great and the good that make up the contract catering industry, there is a subject that often rises to the surface: how to sell the sector to young talent. This is a topic that is raised by The Badger – who I can reveal is a proud member of our great industry himself – on page 58. In his column, our furry friend discusses the recent alleged abuse of apprenticeship positions, and wonders what knock-on effect this will have with regard to young peoples’ perception of a career in hospitality.
And this is also a topic that Jane Renton touches on in The big interview (page 10), as Kate Nicholls, CEO of the newly formed UKHospitality, tells her of apprenticeships: “Many entrepreneurs, managers and chief executives in our industry started their careers pulling pints.”
It is, of course, a particularly bad time for these schemes to receive a knock to their credibility, as it would appear that we will need to nurture more homegrown talent than ever before post-Brexit. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the exact situation is yet to be clarified. However, with the government's bill having, as I type, just been defeated in the Lords for the third time, and the decision to undertake a transitional period to extend our withdrawal to 31st December 2020, it’s unclear as to when some much-needed normality will be restored to proceedings and hospitality businesses can start planning their long-term recruitment strategies.
I will go as far as to hazard a guess, though, that it won’t have been resolved by our next edition, which is why Jane will be returning with another feature on this absolutely crucial issue. Make sure to check our June magazine when she will be speaking to Antony Woodcock, chief executive of hospitality temp employment platform GIG, about the most effective ways to counter labour shortages