Training will help hospitality industry shine again - David Hay

It is well known that one of the sectors hit hardest by Covid-19 has been hospitality. The industry extends far beyond the café on the corner or the high street chain closing its stores, it also includes food service providers who cater in office restaurants, conference centres and event venues. These too have been hit hard over the last 18 months.

Compass Scotland MD, David Hay

The sector has been heavily impacted by social distancing guidance. Largescale catering, event hospitality and office canteens have had to dramatically adapt and look at new ways of delivering services in a post-covid world.

It is clear the hospitality sector will recover and already we can see signs that things are picking up as businesses, schools and events resume almost normal service. However, as we head into recovery mode, we are facing a real risk that the talented people within it will leave and never return. While the sector is known for employing temporary staff, the industry also employs highly skilled and well-trained people, many of whom are facing career choices they never expected two years ago.

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As Scotland starts to recover from the impact of the pandemic, we need to ensure our industry is as strong and resilient as it can be, and we need to make sure a generation of talent is not lost to us. At Compass Scotland, we see apprenticeships as a vital tool to retain and recruit new talent into the Scottish hospitality sector as we emerge out of the crisis.

By offering real training, jobs and career growth, we can give people genuine opportunities that will keep them here, in Scotland and crucially, keep them in long term jobs for the future. It is only by having a motivated and well-trained workforce that we will breathe new life into the businesses, venues and visitor attractions for which Scotland is respected worldwide.

Hospitality is a key industry for us in Scotland, and it remains a sustainable and highly rewarding career choice. It can often be the ‘first rung on the ladder’, but beyond that stage, there are so many opportunities to gain confidence, experience and growth within it. I started out as a waiter in the business, and through the years have trained and learnt on the job, reaching the position I hold now.

Every day across thousands of sites we see people whose careers have grown with us and our business. We’re looking forward to seeing our apprentices grow into the people who manage the future of the sector, and hope that others in the industry will follow suit. Training and developing a highly skilled workforce will allow the hospitality industry to truly shine again and this should be central to any recovery plan.

Compass Scotland MD, David Hay