Survey on parents' hopes in the South-East uncovers surprising results

Parents in the South-East would actively discourage their children from working in hospitality despite tens of thousands of vacancies.

Thursday, 15th September 2016, 8:22 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:40 am
Parents would prefer their children become a doctor

This is one of the surprising facts in the Best Western Careers Index which reveals what aspirations parents in South-East England have for the careers of their children.

The independent survey of over 1,000 parents revealed that despite recent strike action, medicine is the top preferred career, followed by being an architect and accountancy.

Sales professionals, farmers and journalists are the least preferred careers for their children.

Interestingly, more parents would prefer their kids to be a builder (24%) than a journalist (10%).

Perhaps surprisingly given the success of the British Olympic team at Rio, parents in South-East England did not want their children to be professional athletes, ranking it in the 10 least preferred careers, although more mums (18%) were favourable to their children pursuing a sporting career than dads (12%).

Worrying for hospitality though was the low confidence parents have in the industry.

More than a third of parents in South-East England (43%) say they’d discourage their child from a career in hospitality, despite there being an estimated 90,000 jobs available; 49% of parents say that’s because of long hours and 55% say it’s because of poor pay.

Best Western Great Britain also surveyed its hotels on the topic and 60% of hotels said the most difficult job position to recruit for was chefs - this is despite the huge popularity of baking and cooking television programmes.

September is a defining point for the careers of many. As young people across the country are getting ready to start university, others are still trying to get a place through the clearing process and could be considering alternative career options including direct entry into the workplace.

Best Western Great Britain’s CEO, Rob Payne, representing the group’s 260+ independently owned and managed hotels, said the research showed how much work the hospitality industry still has to do.

“We have enjoyed incredible broadcast exposure for our industry over the last 20 years, probably more media profile than any other industry and yet despite, that we are struggling to fill positions and persuade parents and young people that hospitality is a first choice career and not just a summer job.

“It offers great, diverse and rewarding careers offering fast promotion opportunities based on hard work, not grades, providing school leavers and graduates with a career for life and yet we are clearly suffering a lack of confidence in our industry and its prospects.”

Full Results

Top 10 preferred careers by parents in South East England - Source: Best Western Careers Index

1 Doctors – 40%

2 Architects – 38%

3 Accountants – 33%

4 Engineers – 30%

5 Dentists - 27%

6 IT specialists – 27%

7 Law professionals – 24%

8 Scientists – 23%

9 Construction and building trades professionals – 24%

10 Care workers and home carers, economists and statisticians – 23%

Bottom 10 careers according to parents in South East England - Source: Best Western Careers Index

1 Sales professionals – 8%

2 Farmers – 8%

3 Journalists – 10%

4 Hospitality professionals including waiting staff – 11%

5 Professional athletes – 11%

6 Public service professionals – 11%

7 Hospitality management including hotel General Manager, Directors etc.– 11%

8 Mechanics – 12%

9 Hairdressers, barbers and beauty professionals – 12%

10 Marketing professionals – 13%