Big numbers in hospitality
Despite tough financial times, these are essential industries which have major roles in the economy in terms of the production of goods and services, and job opportunities. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment forecasts positive long-term outlooks.
Programme manager of the business school at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Warrick Low says “the service sector will forever be an important part of the economy”.
Low teaches tourism and hospitality at SIT’s Invercargill campus, and says although tourism, hospitality, and retail are generally thought of as “transient” industries, there is “no doubt” they can provide rewarding, lifelong careers.
“There are a whole lot of different areas to go into – marketing, finance, leadership. People tend to enter a generic role and then specialise depending on their skills or characteristics. It depends on what they want from their career.”
Many of his ex-students have travelled and worked “all over the world.”
Although it is possible to “work your way up”, he says people with relevant qualifications will “progress faster up the management channel”.
“Virtually 100%” of graduates from SIT’s hospitality management degree are employed at the completion of their studies, he says.
Deputy chief executive at Hospitality New Zealand Sarah Tucker says there is a “huge range” of opportunities for people wanting to work in hospitality management in particular.
Tucker says that despite public perception, hospitality is hard work.
“You have to genuinely like people, and want them to have a good time. I would suggest [school students] get some experience in hospitality to see if they like it. It’s not all Jamie Oliver! But it’s a very rewarding career, and there’s a lot of scope.”
Students looking for work experience, especially in the retail industry, should make the most of part-time positions during the festive season.
“This Christmas will be a reasonably good one for retail,” New Zealand Retailers Association’s spokesman says. “It should provide a catalyst for students to get into retail.”
The growing online aspect of retail means young people who are technically savvy will be well-equipped for the industry’s future.
Click here to read more.