Reinventing Hospitality education for the demands of the modern era. The first step? Augmenting Industry and Education trust.

  It has been well acknowledged that, with both Brexit and the fast-changing nature of our industry, there is a need to develop the skills and talent for the future. The argument is that to close the productivity gap, we must re-skill the workforce, and increase social mobility but is this happening?  

The Hospitality industry is one of the leading four sectors in the UK and yet we know that there appears to be a growing gap between the education system and employers. There has been a growing lack of trust by business in the education system which has seen, rightly or wrongly, to be chasing the money rather than have a primary focus on the development of the student and supporting the industry at this challenging time.

“Hospitality professionals can benefit tremendously from academic research but we academics must also make it practical and communicate more effectively the practical implications of our research”

A close relationship between industry and education is surely vital in this fast-changing economy and world? The UK has long been a world-class leader in Hospitality, and yet do we have equally world-class schools?

It is a deeper issue as one can talk about social mobility but there is a strong argument that social mobility has never been harder and there is a real need to free up all talent – and for this, both education and industry do need to work closely together.

Of course, it is a complex issue and difficult landscape but even more, hence the reason to ensure that there is a constructive discussion that is taking place; that there are at least greater understanding and a good relationship.

In December, EP is delighted to start a series of forum discussions that do seek to bring together Industry and education. In fairness, this initiative is being driven by a number of leading educationalists who are passionate about the industry, education and the need to build a stronger relationship with Industry. At the same time, we are delighted to have support from The European Hotel Managers Association, The Council for Hospitality Management Education, and those involved in the Fuelling Productivity campaign plus a number of leading restauranteurs to give a real pan-industry base for seeing whether a change can be developed.

There does appear to be a will for change but of course, it is not that simple. It is a starting place though.

Ioannis Pantelidis, Chair of the Council for Hospitality Management Education commented:

“Hospitality professionals and academics have long worked together towards the betterment of our hospitality industry. However too often these efforts have been at an individual or at best at departmental level. We need to work closely together at a much bigger scale than ever before to galvanise the future quality of hospitality management in both academia and industry.

Hospitality professionals can benefit tremendously from academic research but we academics must also make it practical and communicate more effectively the practical implications of our research. On the other hand, hospitality professionals can unite their voice against those who believe that a generic business degree is the same or good enough for hospitality businesses. Good enough does not reflect the level of quality and focus any hospitality business should cherish, from a micro hospitality business to large corporations.”

It is an important discussion and we would welcome your involvement. If of interest, please do feel free to contact us.  We do need once again to have a close relationship between industry and higher education that does help generate the future success of the sector.