Trade careers need promoted

Changing perceptions of the industry requires a shift in attitudes

CHANGING perceptions of careers in hospitality will require a cultural shift in attitudes, according to the chair of BII Scotland.

• Joanne Graham (centre) took over as BII Scotland chair in November.

In an interview with SLTN Joanne Graham, who took over as chair of the association at BII Scotland’s AGM late last year, said she is determined to promote the hospitality industry to young people as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“We employ so many people in hospitality, and yet it’s still perceived quite a lot as a job you do while you’re a student, or if you can’t get anything else you can go work in a bar,” said Graham.
“There’s just so many opportunities to learn new things, to progress if you want to, to be your own boss if you want to.
“There’s lots of different opportunities, and I don’t think they’re sold that well.
“That’s something we need to change.”
Making more information on the industry available to careers advisers in schools and colleges – including case studies of successful people in hospitality – could help promote hospitality careers to younger people, said Graham.
And she has already approached pub companies with a view to creating longer-term   courses and placements for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“They are the people who would benefit from working in a training environment – a bit like Social Bite but very specific to the licensed trade,” said Graham.
In addition to these initiatives, Graham said she hopes to launch more BII Scotland events across the country, where members and those considering membership can meet representatives of the BII Scotland council.
“Scotland is a big nation, so we’d have to do a number of those across different geographic areas so that people felt we were approachable and there’s something behind it,” said Graham.
“There’s some brilliant benefits you get when you join the BII, but sometimes that personal touch, knowing who’s behind it, is helpful as well.”