A major new trade body may soon be established to represent the UK’s £130 billion hospitality sector.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) and Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) will vote on a proposed merger next month in a bid to have their voices better heard at a Government level.

The ALMR represents the drinking and eating out sector, including pubs, restaurants and cafés. The BHA is geared more towards hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.

If the groups’ members agree, the outcome will be a new organisation called UKHospitality.

The move comes as statistics reveal there’s never been a better time to get involved in the hospitality sector, with the wages now outstripping the average UK salary.

According to data unveiled by the British Hospitality Association, the hospitality industry is among the fastest growing sectors in the UK and now directly employs 3.2 million people and a further 2.8 million indirectly.

The sector certainly depends upon a wide variety of jobs – and their diverse nature means employees can transfer skill sets across a range of workplaces.

Especially popular for part-time and casual work, there are also great opportunities to build a long-term career.

The roles available range from front-line workers – think hotel receptionist, waiting and bar staff, restaurant and café managers – who engage directly with the public to behind-the-scenes positions.

These include everything from kitchen porter, cook and chef to hotel manager, housekeeping and maintenance. Then there are the travel consultants, events co-ordinators and even cruise specialists.

You don’t need qualifications to enjoy a career in many of these roles but foundation degrees, national diplomas or undergraduate and masters degrees in hospitality, leisure and tourism will certainly help get your foot on a higher rung of the ladder.

An apprenticeship offers a great alternative to full-time study with on-the-job training going towards a vocational qualification.

With pleasing people at the heart of this sector, it’s no surprise employers also have a strong focus on soft skills.

These include good communication, the ability to work as part of a team, and having a genuine passion to make sure customers are happy.

Work experience is vital for getting a taste of the industry and helping you decide which area might be best for you – these are just some of the most popular roles to choose from.

Kitchen Assistant

A successful restaurant or hotel knows how important an assistant or porter is to its entire catering operation. Prepping, taking care of side dishes and maintaining essential hygiene are the main duties. This is also a perfect starter role for anyone wishing to build a career in hospitality and catering.

Waiting and Catering Staff

Whether it’s in a bar, hotel, café or restaurant, perfect presentation and politeness are the hallmarks of good waiting staff or catering assistants. How food and drink are presented and delivered to a customer is just as essential to the hospitality experience.

Events Manager

This is a broad area and takes in everyone from Event Co-ordinators and Event Managers to Team Leaders and Conference and Banqueting Supervisors. The roles vary as much as the variety of events to be managed. From simple get-togethers to major conferences and weddings, you’re indispensible in taking care of every detail.

The Chefs

From sous chef, chef de partie, commis chef, assistant chef and right up to head chef, the mission is to produce high quality food to a high quantity of orders. These culinary experts are vital to ensuring customer satisfaction. Their passion defines the entire business.

The Manager

The hotel or restaurant restaurant manager is at the helm of the entire hospitality experience – from the hiring of staff, to the creative marketing direction, to overseeing the accounts, to ensuring customers arrive feeling welcome and leave feeling happy.

Of course, it takes an entire army of such roles to make sure the UK continues to offer the very best hospitality.

If you’d like to become part of their success story, there are many opportunities on to join them.