A SCHOOL is encouraging pupils to think differently about their future careers following a visit from Punch Pubs. 

Ringwood School participated in part of a nationwide programme designed to improve perceptions of the hospitality industry.

The programme revealed that negative stereotypes such as 'unskilled roles' and a lack of careers' with 'limited progression opportunities' were preventing young people from considering a career in this sector even though 62 per cent of those working in the industry say they love their roles. 

Read more: Salisbury businesses provide unique offers and discounts to NHS staff

In the session delivered by Punch Pubs, 200 students from Ringwood School's Year 9 and 10 cohort were able to learn about the industry’s many career pathways, fast progression rates and the competitive salaries on offer. 

Subject leader for food technology at Ringwood School, Paula White, said: "It’s important for them to see how working in this field can be diverse and opens up opportunities for travel.  Working in hospitality and catering provides many life skills that will be useful and highly valued as transferrable skills for many careers in a lifetime.” 

Salisbury Journal: Discussing a career in hospitalityDiscussing a career in hospitality (Image: William Murray)Read more: School students to challenge attitudes and behaviours associated with bullying

Ringwood School is one of the first schools in the UK to benefit from the new nationwide 'Choose Hospitality Pledge' programme.

Paula White said: “I was delighted to welcome Louise Gallant from Punch Pubs into Ringwood school to give our year 9 and 10 food and catering students an insight into hospitality careers.

Head of publican and management partnerships recruitment at UK pub and bar operator, Punch Pubs, Louise Gallant said: “More often than not when we go into schools to deliver careers talks, the pupils and teachers have no idea how fulfilling and rewarding a career in hospitality can be.

"There is also low awareness of the scope of career opportunities and progression paths in the sector. That’s one of the many reasons why I love my job – changing perceptions of hospitality careers for the better.  

“It was great to see such a positive response, with several students asking for more information about career opportunities. Our aim is to make an impact on young people’s lives and careers, so I urge schools and hospitality businesses alike to check out the 'Choose Hospitality Pledge' to find out how they can make a difference.” 

One of the year 9 students said: “I really enjoyed the talk and I was particularly interested in the degree apprenticeships because I want to gain experience in the industry before I eventually open my own hospitality and catering business in the future.” 

Read more: Primary school children talk Christmas with care home residents

The session included a video about hospitality careers followed by a fun quiz.

Students learned that hospitality has one of the quickest rates of progression, offering competitive salaries and opportunities - be it resorts, hotels, travel and tourism, cruise ships, airlines, food and catering or casinos. 

For those interested in setting up a free careers talk for their school, visit careerscope.uk.net