Why You Should Be A Part Of Hospitality (With IHG Skills Academy) #1

Why You Should Be A Part Of Hospitality (With IHG Skills Academy) #1

There’s some instability in hospitality right now and many challenges but the sector has so much to offer. About 1/8 people leave hospitality every year because there is a lack of development opportunities and inspiration. At Otolo, you can access the best of the industry. With 2,000 members and 100 mentors, it’s entirely free and funded by partners including IHG, Les Roches & Glion, and many more.

You can do a bit of everything – Why I love Hospitality 

Trudi Parr, People and Development Leader at Mollies, gave us the six reasons why she has stayed in the hospitality industry for the past 20 years:  

1. It gives you so much permission to be creative 

2. You can do anything, anywhere in hospitality 

3. You can stay exactly where you are or you can travel the world  

4. You’re being offered so many opportunities 

5. I’ve never felt stuck  

6. I’ve stayed in so many expensive places that I wouldn’t if I wasn’t working in hospitality 

When you’ve worked in every area, you get inspired to want to change the industry for the better and make improvements” – Trudi Parr

Be a part of the team pushing for diversity and inclusion 

Olajide Alabi, Brand Equality, Inclusion & Well-Being Partner for Turtle Bay Restaurants & Co-Founder of SISU – Equality, Equity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Consultancy takes us through his journey of self-discovery. 

“I struggled with finding my place in school but working at TGI Fridays gave me a big family.” 

“During the time I worked in recruitment at Wetherspoons, I was given the opportunity to work on recruitment marketing campaigns, which made me discover my innate creativity.”  

“I then moved on to be in charge of strategy at GBK, and realised I was the only person of colour in a high position. I wanted to decrease racial bias and make hospitality more diverse so I set up a consultancy firm called SISU. Shortly after having set up my firm, I landed an opportunity to change things at Turtle Bay.” 

Those who work in hospitalitare openminded and willing to change and do the workwe have the foundations to be insanely incredible compared to any other industry but we just need more money to invest in our people.” – Olajide Alabi  

“Don’t call people out; call people in” – The Hospitality Mindset 

Olajide advises on dealing with conflict in the industry.  

1. Nothing good comes out of pointing fingers – it’s better to teach people the better way of doing things and move away from ‘cancel culture’ 

2. Don’t feel afraid to voice your opinion – be brave, be vulnerable, and be confident  

3. You can start by sharing ideas with smaller groups before doing it in a bigger space  

4. Listen with intent to try to change the conversation 

IHG Skills Academy & My Flex – Choosing your own hours  

Andrew Francks, Global Director for Talent and Performance at IHG shares an incredible opportunity to learn new skills for free using IHG’s online platform, along with a programme in Australia that offers the flexibility to choose your hours.  

“In February 2021, we launched our 10-year ‘Responsible Business Plan’, called The Journey to Tomorrow to reflect our bold commitments. One of our key commitments is to impact the lives of 30 million around the world in communities we operate in, including assisting in honing their skills and educating people. To do this, we worked with different organisations that share our values to bring all of their learnings into one place. We created IHG Skills Academy which is a free, online e-learning platform.” 

“Another initiative we have just launched is called My Flex – a programme that allows you to choose your hours to work. It’s currently active across Australia and we have plans to expand it to other regions very soon. The programme aims to give a flexible approach to the people that we want to hire across our hotels.”  

Hospitality gave me a home  

Naomi Hollas, Founder of Event Grads, a community for recent event graduates explained how she found her place in the industry. 

“I came out of secondary school and had no idea what I wanted to do; I didn’t know I could have a career in hospitality and events. During secondary school, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games where I was sold on the event industry and Glasgow. The following Summer, I decided to move to Glasgow. 

I knew I was in the right place when I started my university courses in International Event Management. During my time at university, I also had the opportunity to attend a 3-day executive learning course at École Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), a hospitality management school in Switzerland, which was the most insane experience in my life. I was learning from the very best in hospitality (EHL is consistently ranked as the best hospitality management school in the world).  

During my studies, I was working at Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, which was my home for 3 and a half years. I met some of my best friends there and learned how to provide the best 5-star customer service by sticking to their “local at heart” motto.”

“Then, the pandemic hit and I was lost. I was terrified of coming out of the pandemic and not having learned anything so I started writing articles on LinkedIn about the courses I was doing and what was out there to get a conversation going on, and what we could be doing to continue learning in this situation. At this time, I started Event Grads and it became really popular. A lot of academics and professionals got involved to grow the business and I recently handed in my notice to grow Event Grads full-time.” 

The hospitality industry is going through a huge revival   

“As we look to the future (post-pandemic), there’s a huge opportunity to join the hospitality industry in what will be a huge resurgence. There’s a tremendous passion for travel and events, and everyone is desperate to get back out there. There will be a huge revival and acceleration of our industry. There’s going to be so many opportunities available – from now. A lot of companies are looking to recruit now.  

Whatever the circumstances you might experience, there is a role for you in the hospitality industry.” 

Now is your chance to be a part of one of the greatest industries in the world  

“I found hospitality because it gave me the means to afford study. I had a job in a restaurant that helped me pay for my studies and I ended back in the hospitality industry because I was so passionate about it. It opens doors and now is a time to be a part of what is one of the greatest industries in the world.” – Andrew Francks (IHG) 

“People coming on board are excited, passionate and they want to be a part of it. Now is a great time to join those people. Once you’re in it, you have friends for life. ” – Trudi Parr (Mollies, Soho House) 

“So interdisciplinary, very varied, transferable skills throughout. You can change between areas and learn so many new skills. There are areas within hospitality that I didn’t know existed until I got the chance to explore them.” – Naomi Hollas (Event Grads)

“There’s so much more to hospitality than bar, kitchen and floor. The avenues are endless. You can mould your job if you harness the power to do so. You can’t go to other industries like the pharmaceutical industry and create a role for yourself so this power is very unique to this industry. Don’t come because you want to earn money – that’s not the right goal. Come because you want a close family, you want to progress your career, learn new skills and you have a goal of getting to where you want to be in your career quite quickly. There are lots of other industries where you can make money but your role is stagnant and you’re not learning anything. It depends on your personal goals and aspirations.” – Olajide Alabi (Turtle Bay & SISU community) 

And that’s a wrap… 

A huge, huge ‘thank you’ to our four lovely guest speakers for sharing their knowledge and experiences with us. If you missed the livestream, you can watch it on our YouTube channel below: