The business of hospitality

In this article the Hospitality Standards Institute talk about New Zealand’s vibrant hospitality industry, discussing the wide sprectrum of sectors and different career paths.

New Zealand’s large and vibrant hospitality industry employs around 136,000 people, nearly 7% of the workforce, working in more than 20,000 businesses around the country.

A job in hospitality can be had in a wide variety of workplaces. The New Zealand industry includes cafés, bars, pubs and restaurants, to hotels, motels, backpackers hostels, holiday parks, lodges, resorts and halls of residence. Food service, traditionally called catering, whether in hospitals, residential care, prisons, schools and universities, offices, airports, factories or stadium and event catering is another part of the mix. Quick service restaurants, often called fast-food, such as the global giant McDonald’s and many other independent outlets and clubs — sport and recreation clubs, social clubs, working men’s clubs, cosmopolitan clubs — are two other parts that make up this multi-faceted sector. And of course many of these workplaces are in towns and cities that tourists head for, like Queenstown, the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and Rotorua, for the Maori culture and its geothermal activity, or Wellington, the capital city, often compared to San Francisco. There are many locations in New Zealand that offer attractions from mountain biking to vineyards and more, so that there is plenty of interesting activities outside work hours.

While New Zealand is feeling the effects of the global recession, most hospitality businesses are still open to approaches from jobseekers. Hospitality is a very much a people business, so good social and communication skills are key; employers are looking for personality and enthusiasm too. Experience is not always essential if these attributes are shown. A can-do, positive attitude is very important and is always a good base to build hospitality specific skills on.

There are many career pathways and opportunities in the New Zealand hospitality industry — from baristas to chefs, waiters, bartenders and maitre d’ and housekeepers to supervisors, front-line managers and more. Skill training is available for all these roles in New Zealand, either on the job with an employer, so you can learn while you earn, or through training providers like institutes of technology and polytechnics. There are short sharp up-skill programmes available that meet specific needs, such as customer service and food safety, through to national qualifications such HSI modern apprenticeship programmes, national certificate and national diploma traineeships.

The Hospitality Standards Institute of New Zealand (HSI) is the industry’s training organisation, responsible for setting the skill standards for hospitality roles. The HSI website gives prospective students information on a hospitality career, learning skills that are transferable and portable around New Zealand and the world.

Provided by the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI)