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Occupations

The largest number of people is employed as: kitchen and catering assistants; chefs and cooks; waiting staff; and bar staff.

Approximately 1.5 million people work in core hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism occupations. The largest occupation group is ‘kitchen and catering assistants’ followed by ‘chefs and cooks’. The ‘kitchen and catering assistants’ category is wide and includes baristas, school meal cashiers and kitchen porters.

Overall, the number of people employed in core hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism roles has remained constant over the last 5 years. However, there has been a:

  • 30% decline in the number of people working as bar staff over the last 5 years
  • 22% decline in the number of publicans and managers of licensed premises over the last 5 years
  • 88% increase in the number of people working as conference and exhibition managers over the last 5 years.
  • 14% increase in the number of hotel and accommodation managers over the last 5 years

Source: Sector Skills Assessment for the UK Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Sector 2010


Recruitment methods

The most commonly used recruitment channels for employers in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector include:

  • 58% of employer use by ‘word of mouth’
  • 40% JobCentres
  • 36% internal advertisements
  • 28% national, local and trade press
  • 25% businesses’ own websites
  • 16%external websites
  • 12%recruitment agencies

Source: Sector Skills Assessment for the UK Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Sector 2010

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Occupational vacancies and skill gaps

19% of hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism establishments report skills gaps within their current workforce (i.e. they have staff who are not fully proficient in their job), compared with 20% in 2005 and 15% across all industries. The main skills that sector employers believe need improving are:

  • Customer handling skills
  • Technical and practical skills
  • Team working skills

There have traditionally been a large number of job vacancies in the sector. Over the last decade, many employers, particularly those in the hospitality industry and those located in rural areas, have found it difficult to recruit. In 2004, recruitment difficulties did ease slightly with the influx of EU Accession State workers into the hospitality industry. Despite this, in 2007, it was estimated that 20% of sector establishments in England had at least 1vacancy compared to the average of 18% of establishments across the economy as a whole.

Hard-to-fill vacancies in the sector are for:

  • Chefs and cooks (30%)
  • Travel agents (28%)
  • Managers (26%)
  • Kitchen assistants (20%)

In 2007, 8% of sector businesses in England report having vacancies that were ‘hard-to-fill’ compared to 6% of businesses across all industries. However, these figures are likely to have changed towards the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 in particular. In 2009, 26% of sector businesses had frozen recruitment during the last 12 months. In addition, 8% had made permanent staff redundant and 23% were employing fewer temporary staff. 24% of businesses have cancelled plans to expand their workforce. It is estimated that 1.3 people are looking for a job in the sector per vacancy, compared with 0.7 people per vacancy in November 2008.

The average labour turnover rate in 2008/09 across the UK’s hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry was 31%.

Source: Sector Skills Assessment for the UK Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Sector 2010

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Salary levels

Travel agency managers tend to be the highest hourly earners, followed by travel agency managers and hotel and accommodation managers. There are, however, a number of occupational roles (such as bar and waiting staff) which, on average, attract hourly payments of little more than the minimum age (which stood at £5.80 in 2008).

Pay scales in the sector are variable, so the following only provides an indication of the average annual pay of the current workforce:

Travel and tourist services

  • Green Badge Tour Guide (Level 3) £6,000 - £25,000, Blue Badge Tour Guide (Level 4) £6,000 - £25,000
  • Local General Tour Guide £6,000 - £25,000, Senior Tour Operator £16,000 - £24,000
  • Junior Tour Operator £11,000 - £15,000, Senior Tour Operator £16,000 - £24,000
  • Business Travel Agency Manager/Leisure Travel Agency Manager £20,000 - £35,000
  • Senior Consultant Business Travel Agent £16,000 - £24,000
  • Home Working Travel Consultant £20,000 or more, Travel Consultant Call Centre £14,000 - £20,000
  • Tourist Board Tourism Manager £28,000 - £35,000, Local Authority Tourism Manager £25,000 - £38,000
  • Tourism Assistant £12,000 - £16,000, Senior Tourism Officer £20,000 - £25,000
  • Senior Resort Representative £16,000 - £24,000, Resort Manager £40,000

Self-catering and holiday centres

  • Assistant Hostel Manager/Hostel Supervisor/Deputy Hostel Manager £16,000 - £24,000
  • Entertainments and Leisure Supervisor/Entertainment Team Leader £26,000 - £34,000, Entertainments and Leisure Manager £24,000 - £30,000
  • Blue Coat, Red Coat, Guest Services Assistant £12,000 - £18,000
  • Catering Assistant/ Hostel Assistant £11,000 - £14,000
  • Hostel Manager £18,000 - £30,000
  • Greeter/Reservationist £12,000 - £18,000

Restaurants and Food and service management

  • Assistant General Manager/Deputy Manager £21,000 - £35,000
  • Restaurant Manager £16,000 - £30,000
  • Assistant General Manager/Deputy Manager £21,000 - £35,000
  • Junior/Commis Chef £10,000 - £16,000, Chef £15,000 - £20,000, Head Chef £20,000 - £45,000
  • Junior Waiter £11,000 - £14,000, Waiter £12,000 - £16,000, Head Waiter £14,000 - £25,000
  • Wine waiter £12,000 - £35,000
  • Kitchen porter £11,000 or more

Pubs, bars and nightclubs

  • Bar Person £11,000 - £20,000, Assistant Bar Manager £16,000 - £21,000, Bar Manager £20,000 - £35,000
  • Assistant General Manager/Deputy Manager £21,000 - £35,000
  • Cashier/Front Supervisor £15,000 - £17,000
  • Cloakroom Attendant/Admissions Gate Attendant £12,000 - £16,000
  • Pub and Restaurant Manager £18,000 - £35,000
  • Host £14,000 - £25,000
  • Patron/Landlord £30,000 - £200,000

Hotels and hospitality services

  • Assistant Exhibitions Co-ordinator £14,000 - £17,000, Exhibitions Co-ordinator £21,000 - £35,000, Exhibitions Manager £30,000 or more
  • Assistant General Manager/Deputy Manager £21,000 - £35,000
  • Assistant Head Housekeeper £16,000 - £25,000
  • Junior/Commis Chef £10,000 - £16,000, Chef £15,000 - £20,000, Head Chef £20,000 - £45,000
  • Conference & Banqueting Manager £22,000 - £35,000
  • Events Manager £36,000 or more
  • Housekeeping Supervisor £13,000 - £17,000, Head Housekeeper £16,000 - £27,000
  • Receptionist £12,000 - £18,000, Head Receptionist £20,000 - £24,000
  • Linen Room Assistant £11,000 or more

Gambling

  • Betting Shop Supervisor/Betting Assistant Manager £13,000 - £18,000
  • Betting Cashier/Betting Operator/Tele-Betting Telephone Operator £11,000 or more
  • Betting Shop Manager £15,000 - £20,000
  • Bingo Manager/Bingo Club General Manager £18,000 - £30,000
  • Bingo Caller £11,000 - £18,000
  • Croupier £11,000 - £25,000
  • Inspector/Table Supervisor £13,000 - £25,000
  • Pit Boss/Casino Room Supervisor £11,000 - £25,000

Visitor attractions

  • Leisure Services Operations Manager/ Park Operations Manager/Head of Amusements and Leisure Activities £24,000 - £30,000
  • Leisure Services Operations Supervisor/Park Operations Supervisor £26,000 - £24,000
  • Rides and Activities Operators/Entertainer £12,000 - £18,000
  • Retail Store Assistant/Gift Shop Supervisor/Souvenir Outlet Supervisor £12,000 - £16,000
  • Ticket Office Assistant £12,000 - £16,000, Ticket Office Supervisor £14,000 - £18,000

Source: Sector Skills Assessment for the UK Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Sector 2010 and People 1st LMI Report (March 2010)

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Occupational roles and sources of information

People 1st has a number of careers profiles and case studies available on their website.

The National Careers Service website also has detailed occupational profiles for some occupations in the retail sales and customer service, catering services and sport leisure and tourism sections. These profiles include information on entry points, training, working environment, employment opportunities and expected annual salary.

Careersbox has films of those working in the retail sector relevant to the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector, including:

  • Travel agent general assistant manager
  • Travel sales advisor
  • Sales consultant

Films are from those already working in the sector giving an insight into what it is like and what their role involves.

The Graduate Prospects website has sector information on hospitality which details the past, present and future issues of the sector, lists key roles and occupations as well as case studies and further contacts for the sector.

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