The catering industry is expected to grow significantly over the next decade, therefore it is an excellent industry to consider entering. It is estimated that around 200,000 jobs in this sector will be created over the next 10 years in an industry that already employs over 2 million workers. This is a diverse sector offering rewarding and varied careers to people from a variety of backgrounds.
Personal Qualities Needed to Work in Catering
If you want to get into the catering industry you have to be prepared for a lot of hard work including working long hours and possible shift work and you must be highly motivated. Above all however, you must have an interest in hospitality and a love of food. It is important for those in the industry to have a passion for excellent food as well as possessing a range of business and organizational skills.
Routes into Catering
There are a number of different jobs at various levels within the catering sector working in restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, bars and within contract catering. To begin a career in catering there are several different routes you could take. A lot of people, particularly school or college leavers simply take a job as a waiter or waitress or a kitchen assistant with no qualifications. Sometimes even taking unpaid work is an option to get a foothold. Once in a job you will usually get training by your employer.
There is usually a broad base of training available for the catering industry. It is possible to move jobs frequently in hospitality to gain extra experience in various workplaces. By changing jobs in this way you will gain transferable skills as well; useful to any industry.
Apprenticeships are widely available through some employers or local training organisations, where you will gain valuable work experience as well as the relevant qualifications, perhaps in food preparation or hospitality for example. There are also further education courses available at local colleges in catering and hospitality. These can be A Levels in food nutrition, or more vocational NVQ professional courses in subjects like cookery or food supervision. There are a wide variety of courses at higher education colleges as well such as hospitality management. Many different short courses are run at local colleges to support your first steps into catering such as food hygiene and health and safety.
Another way you could enter the industry is to set yourself up in business and become self-employed. If you have a strong work ethic and a belief in your product then this might be the best option for you, but be aware that the catering industry is competitive and so this may come with risks. This is usually the option for someone wishing to change careers or who has some experience in business already.
When beginning your journey into the catering industry consider taking help and advice such as that from catering recruitment agencies at www.caterer.com. Here you will gain useful information on CV writing, salaries and how to find the right job depending on your experience and qualifications.