Speaking at Connections Luxury Sicily, Irene Forte, brand manager at Rocco Forte Hotels, addressed the issue of employees from moving out of the hospitality sector.

“The industry is facing a huge skill shortage, and soon there will be a huge amount of jobs to fill – by 2022, there will be more than 900,000, 800,000 of which will be existing roles,” says Forte. “This is happening because people don’t see hospitality as a viable career option – they fall into it and see the anti-social shifts, the initial low pay, and they move out of it.”

To tackle this problem, Forte launched the Map My Future app this month. The app provides employees with information about possible career paths beyond their current roles, helps them set goals and offers 24-hour advice from specialised career coaches.

“The idea is to show people there’s a huge amount of opportunity within hospitality,” she adds. “You can really do anything once you’re in it, there’s so many routes you can take – and no day is boring. So it’s about getting that message across.

“We’re selling the app to colleges and schools so that students can see their potential career progression, and it’s being built as a white label product, so that others in the industry can buy the framework as well.”

Map My Future is currently being piloted with Rocco Forte and contract catering company, Artisian, and is set to be available for other hospitality companies to purchase in June.

Irene Forte joined us in Connections Luxury Sicily last month. For more details of our forthcoming events, please drop me a line at micaela@weareconnections.com and I can tell you all about us.