A guide to a career in the catering industry

catering industry, kitchen

Statistics show that one third of people who work in the catering industry do it because they’re passionate about food.

But, what makes this industry an attractive one to work in and what is recruitment currently like in the sector? We’ve teamed up with the Seaton Lane Inn, a modern country pub in Seaham, to find out more:

Why is catering an attractive sector to work in?

For many, catering is an ideal sector to find a job in. It can bring flexible working hours, job security and an attractive salary.

The catering industry is one that’s constantly thriving, despite any political or economic turmoil. In fact, 61% of catering professionals found no change in footfall since Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

IBISWorld, specialists in business information and market research, found that the catering market experiences an annual growth of one per cent between 2013 and 2018, and currently has a workforce of over 28,000. According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the market is predicted to continue growing at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent until 2020. They determined that the sector was labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive, meaning it relies on its staff to operate effectively — great news and job security for those who are part of it.

Job site, CV-Library, analysed data from the job market in 2018 and 2017 and compared the results. They determined that salaries were rising across the UK and the average salary in the catering sector was up by 2.8 per cent to £24,570.

Although the hours can be long, the flexibility of shifts can be beneficial for some people. For example, shifts can often be swapped to meet personal errands and people can often choose between day and evening shifts. Max Moran, a freelance chef from Derby, said: “I enjoy my flexible career as a freelance chef, the money is good and the ability to pick where and when you work really suits my lifestyle.”

New opportunities

There are now many different entry routes that people can take to enter the catering industry, making careers in the sector more accessible.

Of course, there are the traditional routes to a career in this market, such as progressing from table waiting to chef roles, but there are new ways to get in the sector now too. Casual Dining Group, for example, partnered with Remit Training in 2016 to deliver apprenticeships to its restaurants, focusing on servers, chefs and managerial positions.

In April 2018, Lake District Hotels, a hotel group in Cumbria, launched a ‘Hotel Academy’ to train aspiring chefs and practise fine dining. This academy includes a one-year programme with guaranteed employment and accredited qualifications. These aren’t standalone exceptions either, people are realising the potential in the catering industry. It’s clear to see that more is being invested in talented young people who have an interest in progressing in the market.

There are also many vocational courses available for students who want to study catering-related courses at college. Often, students can showcase their skills to the public with dining school restaurants, giving them a taste of what catering work is truly like.

As we can see, the catering industry is one that’s here to stay. It offers a strong sense of job security for those who are part of it, due to its steady market growth and increase in average salary. New opportunities and investments in young people mean that the sector is becoming more accessible for those who may not have considered this type of role until now.

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