The expert panel
Our expert panel includes representatives from the Hotel and Catering Training Company (HCTC), Accor Hotels UK & Ireland, Greene King Pub Company, Simply Chefs by Hocaps, Bartlett Mitchell, Learnpurple and Conran Restaurants and Retail
I'd like to travel internationally, but need to earn to sort out my student debt. Can I do both in the industry, and what types of jobs would be best to do so?
One of the great benefits of our industry is the opportunity to build your career and travel at the same time. Ideally you should gain some basic experience in the UK before you leave, as this will improve your chances of getting employment in other countries. You need to check the situation regarding work permits in each individual country, but many allow young people to work for up to one year with a visa - don't risk working without one! Some organisations, like Accor, have hotels in many countries around the world and you may be able to arrange internal transfers, which will take some of the hassle out of the process.
Philip Addison, human resources director at Accor Hotels UK and Ireland
You need to decide whether you're looking for a career as an international hotel manager, or hoping to pick up some work as you backpack round far-flung shores. If you're prepared to commit yourself to the industry and are looking to climb the ladder, then working as an expat can be a great way to squirrel money away and ease debts. Salaries are generally tax-free, and the employer usually provides accommodation. Most positions offered to expats are at department-head level and above, so you need to acquire the capacity to work at this level.
Mark Manson, director at Simply Chefs by Hocaps
Skills and knowledge learnt in this business are generic and transferable, both in the customer service-based roles in the UK and abroad. Language may prove a problem if you're looking to work in customer-facing roles, so make the most of any language skills. If you're looking to travel as part of your job then holiday repping, cruise ships, ski seasons or working as cabin crew are a good way of travelling the world. Graduates with problems can find help from debt counsellors at their local citizens advice bureau - www.nacab.org.uk or the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (0800 1381 111).Ian Horrox, human resources director at Conran Restaurantsn
Each week our expert panel will answer your career questions. If you'd like to submit a question, send it to email@example.com.