The catering industry in the UK consists of more than 260,000 outlets and serves over 650 million meals annually. Services employ 200,000 catering staff and offer a wide range of employment opportunities. Kitchen porter, waiting staff, housekeepers and office clerks are a few of the common positions available through recruitment agencies.
Salaries typically range from £13-35K, and £20K is the average income across the UK. In London, wages tend to be somewhat higher, though not significantly so. Only about 7% of employees in the industry earn more than £30K. While often not explicitly required, candidates with NVQs and position-relevant SVQs are much more attractive to employers, and competence-based qualifications are always helpful for those looking to take on roles of greater responsibility. In some cases, BTEC certificates and OCR Nationals are required for certain jobs. Food health and safety courses are also required for some positions. Much of the training for catering staff, however, can be obtained on-the-job. In fact, paid apprenticeship positions are gaining popularity as a method for entry into the industry, and can be an excellent way for young people to acquire experience, necessary certifications, and valuable skills while earning entry-level wages.