Anyone working in the student and graduate recruitment industry knows that in a competitive marketplace, firms are increasingly looking for applicants who have real world experience of the workplace. But what can be done right now as the UK slowly emerges from a pandemic which shrunk the availability of internship and work experience opportunities?
Hospitality and Seasonal jobs could be the answer.
These sectors are crying out for workers. According to UK Hospitality, the pub industry alone is down 200,000 workers and the whole sector is reporting a shortage of housekeepers, front of house staff and chefs, among others.
Before the pandemic, 24 percent of hospitality workers across the UK were foreign, with the percentage rising to close to 60 percent in London. But as lockdown hit, many workers chose to return to their home countries, and they have since been unable to come back due to Brexit complications and travel disruptions.
Earlier this week, David Moore, the founder of Pied à Terre in London, said he has decided to halt the restaurant’s lunchtime menu to “preserve” his depleted workforce. “I don’t know anybody who is not looking for a kitchen porter,” he added.
That’s why this summer is the perfect time for students to take on seasonal work and get some real benefits out of the current situation.
It doesn’t matter that the jobs available are not directly linked to the course they’re studying or the career they’re interested in.
Bar staff; front of house; waiting staff; chef or kitchen assistant; fruit picking; UK-attraction team members; hotel staff.
These roles all offer the chance to gain transferable skills. And importantly, they all offer real work experience on which to base answers for future application processes.
Sales, customer service, planning, negotiation, team work, problem solving, leadership. These are skills that graduate employers assess for.
There are currently so many opportunities out there that students would be mad not to grab one and use it to put themselves at a competitive advantage in the future jobs market.
Skip ahead a year or two and smart graduate recruiters are likely to be asking a key question:
“What did you do in the summer of 2021?”