Up to 70% of over-50s have said they would consider a career in the hospitality sector but a large majority (88%) also believe businesses withing the sector prefer hiring younger people, according to a new report from Rest Less, a digital community and advocate for people aged 50 and older.
Rest Less surveyed 1,000 of its job seeking members to ask about their attitudes to working in the hospitality sector. Despite positive attitudes to working in the sector, more than three quarters of respondents said that they would be less likely to apply for a hospitality job because they thought their age would count against them.
Additionally, respondents were asked what appealed to them about working in the hospitality sector. More than two thirds (68%) said they thought their life skills would be useful and 68% also said that the social aspect was appealing. Nearly two thirds (62%) said the opportunity to work with people of all ages would encourage them to apply. However, when asked for the reasons why they wouldn’t apply for a role in the sector, 68% were worried the hours would be too anti-social and the role would be too physically demanding (46%).
A recent report from the Office for National Statistics showed in 2023, there were 1.2 million 50 to 64-year-olds working in the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector – making up 25% of all workers aged 16 to 64 years old in this sector. This made it the sector that was least represented by 50 to 64-year-olds of all.
Stuart Lewis, chief executive of Rest Less, said: “With one third of the UKs workforce now aged over 50 and fewer young people entering the labour market, the average age of the workforce continues to increase. This makes age inclusive talent attraction and retention no longer a nice to have, but increasingly a core part of any employers holistic workforce planning.”