Due to a high rate of replacement within the sector, the skills shortage was highlighted by a recent UK study that estimated that 1.3 million employees will have to be recruited by 2024, of whom 975,000 will be replacements of staff that have left.
The locally based catering firm, which currently employs 60 members of staff, is encouraging key senior figures within the industry to act fast to ensure the longevity of their team and change perceptions of careers within the UK hospitality industry.
Director of Carringtons Catering Helen Wynn said: “The continued growth of the hospitality industry is key to the ongoing success of the UK economy, therefore it’s worrying that we now have a skills gap across the board, with chefs and management being two highlighted areas.
“The hospitality industry would certainly see an increase in staff retention and productivity through improved skills and would form a greater diverse workforce if senior posts were more accessible to women. While stereotypical gender roles in kitchen culture have altered over the decades, the hospitality industry has a stigma of being a very male-orientated career choice, which is not surprising as less than a fifth of professional chefs in the UK are female.
“In addition to attracting more females to the industry, while at the same time ensuring that our existing team members stay within hospitality, we need to inspire the next generation of future leaders. Aspiring stars in the sector should be encouraged to join us and be proud of their career choice, and not just view higher education catering vocations as a last resort.”
As part of Carringtons Catering’s commitment to providing a supporting and productive environment for its staff members, the firm has recently taken part in the Workplace Wellbeing Charter, which aims to implement and improve health and wellbeing programmes within the workforce. The Roby Mill based firm always promotes from within and never uses customer facing agency staff.
Helen added: “In order to heighten job satisfaction and minimise the already high staff turnover rate, employers need to create and offer attractive employee packages. Here at Carringtons Catering, we pride ourselves on our personalised employee benefit schemes and incentives to maximise staff morale and longevity within the workplace. It’s all about attracting young people to the hospitality industry and retaining them.
“Employee engagement is so important, which is why we have introduced a number of schemes to ensure that our team members can flourish within their roles. For example, our ‘Employee of the Month’ and ‘Employee of the Year’ appraisal programs are in place. As another thank you, staff are treated to a free lunch every day so that they can enjoy social time together, to help build and maintain friendships between themselves.
“We also offer each and every team member a personal mentor to help them develop and grow within their role. Team members take part in internal and external training, and we encourage our staff to manage the work/life balance be it through offering financial support, healthcare packages or flexible working patterns to coincide with the likes of school runs and other personal commitments.”
For more information about Carringtons Catering visit www.carringtons-catering.co.uk or call 01695 632 227.