SEARCHING for a graduate job can be a confusing and time-consuming task. Many hotel, restaurant and pub groups offer management training courses - but how do you know which one offers the best training and experience for you?
In an attempt to ease the burden on students in their final year, Springboard UK, the hospitality industry's careers organisation, has joined forces with Caterer & Hotelkeeper to develop a new style of graduate recruitment event. The Fast Forward fairs will take place around the country in the next few weeks, and it is hoped to bring together students, staff from further and higher education, careers advisors and employers offering jobs, all under one roof.
The main objective will be to raise the profile of graduate opportunities in hospitality and catering. For graduate job-seekers the events should provide a one-stop shop for careers advice, and a chance to talk to employers who are actively recruiting. The organisers want employers to come along with live positions.
"We want to make it the career event of the year, and we are doing all we can to add value for the visitors. In the past employers often came to events like these without relevant vacancies to offer," says Sophie Tufail, national campaigns manager at Springboard.
Fast Forward is designed for all potential management recruits, not just those studying hospitality. Employers will also be looking for graduates from disciplines whose skills can be used within the hospitality industry, such as personnel management, sales and marketing and business studies. For students in their first and second years there will also be a chance to talk to employers about work experience placements.
Students will have the opportunity to
lÊcirculate the main hall to obtain information about career opportunities;
lÊspeak to people currently on graduate training programmes;
lÊapply for work experience placements;
lÊapply for graduate trainee positions;
lÊattend seminars on career planning and job search; and
lÊwin a high-profile work placement.
Up to 40 employers are likely to exhibit at each of the Fast Forward events, and Tufail hopes they will represent a cross-section of the industry.
You should have the opportunity to talk to young people who are already established in their careers as food and beverage managers, personnel and training managers, conference and banqueting managers or front office managers. Educational establishments offering postgraduate opportunities will also be on hand to discuss the merits of further study.
Careers advice and hints and tips about how to get a job will also make up an important part of the day. Employers will get a chance to participate in and run seminars, so you will be able to hear recruiters' views about how to write a CV, prepare for interviews or plan your career. Both Springboard and Leisure Careers UK will be on hand to offer guidance. n