A shortage of qualified staff members for hospitality and gastronomy industry is obvious since several years also in Switzerland. The situation is not yet so dramatic as in some of our neighbouring countries, where some companies have to close, reduce their opening hours or products massively, because they cannot find any staff. Nevertheless, we have staff shortage as well. What is wrong here? Is it the work conditions? Is it the industry, which is not attractive anymore? Or is it the requirements of the next generation, which does not see service sector industry as interesting?
If the answer would be so easy, we would have solved the problem long time ago. Based on my experience and many chats I had with experts I can comprehend the following information:
- Work conditions in hospitality and gastronomy industry have definitively not deteriorated during the last years. However, it is in the nature of things that our industry works when others are free, which does not appeal to everyone. Wages have also increased steadily in recent years, albeit not extremely. The “technical” working conditions cannot be solely to blame.
- Unfortunately, the pandemic has led to a significant exodus from the industry over the past two years. Although in Switzerland we were in the privileged position that the state provided help quickly and effectively, many employees looked around and found a foothold in other sectors.
- Unfortunately, the image of the hospitality industry, especially for the coming generations, is not particularly good and many training positions remain vacant. Motivation and appreciation at work are required in this situation.
Instead of extended analyses, we prefer to look for solutions: We have been offering our Stagiaires-Program for almost 10 years. Young, motivated professionals from other countries are prepared for the Swiss requirements in gastronomy in a two-week course and then complete a three-and-a-half-month internship in a restaurant or hotel in Switzerland Stagiaires – Swiss Hospitality Academy GmbH (hospitality-academy.ch). After interruptions due to the pandemic, 15 young talents were able to be trained at the Swiss Educational College in Weggis in December (Business & Hospitality Management | Swiss Educational College | Weggis) and are now in a hotel or restaurant in various touristic regions of Switzerland.
We cannot solve the industry problem with our stagiaires program, but we still want to make a contribution to solve it. We are currently evaluating how the program can be expanded and thus generate even greater benefits for our partner companies. Are you interested or do you have further ideas? Don’t hesitate to contact me right now at firstname.lastname@example.org.