Deciding on a career path after high school can be one of the hardest choices for school-leavers to make, especially if they are uncertain of what studies to pursue.
First Group Hotel and Resorts managing director, Shaun Lamont, advises parents to try to encourage their children to consider a career in hospitality.
By 2030 there will be 1.8 billion new international travellers, according to a 2011 report by The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The report confirmed that international tourism would continue to grow in a sustained manner in the next two decades.
Choosing a career in hospitality, therefore, could be the best decision that the matrics of 2021 will ever make, according to Lamont, and he shares five reasons why:
According to Study International, one in every five jobs created in the last decade globally has been within travel and tourism, and pre-Covid, the industry was expected to support an additional 100 million jobs worldwide by 2028.
The World Travel and Tourism Council also reports that one in 10 jobs on the planet is supported by travel and tourism.
Explore the world
If you’ve always imagined visiting exotic destinations, but your travel fund smacks more of ‘beer and biltong’ than ‘champagne and caviar’, then a career in hospitality could be the ticket to the travel you’ve been dreaming of.
Whether local or international, you’re bound to traverse the globe by working in a variety of positions and places. You’ll only be limited by your imagination - from cruise ships and hotels to game lodges and beach resorts.
Options, options, options
Armed with a wide range of skills and knowledge, working in hotels, restaurants, events, catering, hospitals or airlines, or even branching out into business development, marketing, or entrepreneurship, are all within the realm of possibility.
Learn while you earn
Most reputable hotel groups and resorts partner with hotel management schools to offer students the opportunity to learn the relevant theory while getting practical, on-the-job training.
First Group, for example, embraces unskilled trainees every year, who share a passion for guests and place them at our various resorts around the country.
Furthermore, some Groups even offer trainees a stipend while working, which means that you can learn while you earn.
Move up the ranks
A career in hospitality offers you the chance to grow. Moving from bellhop to the front desk to the manager, or from waiter to food and beverage manager doesn’t have to remain a pipe dream.
"If you’re looking for an ever-changing, exciting job in a vibrant industry that demands a commitment to making strangers smile and helping them to make lasting, magical memories – then this industry is for you," Lamont says.
First Group is one of the leading leisure and hotel management companies, with over 25 properties in Southern Africa.