By Lynthon Musamadya, Senior Lecturer in Events and Hospitality Management at UEL’s Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (www.uel.ac.uk)
The hospitality industry is one of the major employers in the country. In fact, it is the fourth largest employer in the UK.The industry offers a range of possibilities in employment, development, social and soft skills and many other personal development advantages.
There are so many opportunities for growth in the hospitality industry, a range of skills to be developed in the various sectors of the hospitality industry, as well as opportunities for training and development and career development. Employment in hospitality is an investment in a career that will give you bottomless opportunities.There are so many opportunities for creativity and innovation as no two days are the same.A survey by Entrepreneur Europe in 2015 stated that the hospitality industry is number 6 in the top 10 of happiest industries to work.
An interesting element about the hospitality industry is the fact that there is a lot of cultural diversity which gives you extensive social interactions with people from many different social and cultural backgrounds.This helps in the development of mental wealth gains in social intelligence, cultural intelligence as well as emotional intelligence; as oftentimes those cultural differences may be misconstrued for challenges in the industry. One of the best treasures that I took with me from working in the industry was the socio-cultural enrichment that I got from my interactions with thousands of people from different cultural backgrounds from colleagues that I have worked with and customers alike; some of which has given me lifelong friendships.
The skills that you build from working within the hospitality industry gives you more employability as you develop on your interpersonal skills, soft skills development, communication skills and interpersonal awareness as well as how you relate to people: an essential asset for any individual working within the industry.
Given the current state of affairs following the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry is in the process of re-imagining and re-imaging itself and working in /studying hospitality gives a gateway to being a changemaker and innovator in the industry. The opportunities to pave a new and revived hospitality industry will make those currently working in the industry; those new in the industry and those studying the pro- grammes to work in the industry the pioneers and innovators of the new hospitality industry that is being reborn.
A recent survey conducted by KAM Hospitality looked at the current perceptions of hospitality as a career choice and it is interesting to note that 21% of the UK working population consider hospitality to be an appealing industry to work in; which makes it on par with other industries such as education, healthcare, art and entertainment and even financial services; which makes hospitality a competitive and worthy industry to invest and develop yourself from a career perspective.
With the experience economy taking a shift towards the East of London; it is great to see the development of the hospitality industry with new hotels and facilities being built and developed in the Docklands, Stratford and City Airport.The Institute of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of East London has developed a robust range of industry informed and driven programs that aim to meet the current and future employability needs of the industry.