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Why Generation Z are avoiding the hospitality industry

Why Generation Z are avoiding the hospitality industry

FEAR of copping a spray from a difficult customer has emerged as a key reason Generation Z is avoiding the hospitality industry, setting the sector on course for a crippling labour shortage.

Encompassing anyone born since 1995, Generation Z grew up immersed in a digital world and many of its members are far more comfortable with emojis than real-life emotion, according to Edith Cowan University researcher Edmund Goh.

Dr Goh interviewed young hospitality students at three training institutes and found one-third admitted they were apprehensive about handling difficult situations face-to-face.

“That is one of the key barriers for Generation Z to joining the hospitality workforce,” he said.

“I associated this fear with the fact they have been brought up overly dependent on technology and don’t have experience with the basics of customer service.”

42 per cent of Australian hospitality employers reported problems filling vacancies and 28 of every 100 roles were unfilled — a situation he believes will worsen as baby boomers retire.

“While some jobs are being replaced by automation, jobs in hospitality are still in high demand because of the need for people-centred skills,” JobGetter director Fiona Anson said.

Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said there were some important lessons in Dr Goh’s research for the hospitality sector.

“The challenge for us is to disarm them from their devices and demonstrate that you can have a safe and comfortable environment where people are interacting face-to-face,” he said.

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