Demand for skilled staff in the hospitality sector is strong across Germany. Around 4,200 skilled positions in Hamburg” are vacant, according to Hamburg’s current skilled staff monitor. Thus, seeking out the skilled workers wherever they are is a matter of urgency. Yet, what do apprentices want and what do they like about their job.
Hotels – a special place for many
Thamsin Dakers became interested in becoming an hotelier as a child. “We went down to breakfast, and when we returned to our rooms they looked like new – a place of magic,” she said. Dakers, 20, began training as a hotel manager in Hotel east on August 1, 2018. The first post in her training was housekeeping. You immediately see there what was done, and you learn a lot you can use in your own home, she says. And of course, housekeeping goes far beyond the traditional cleaning of the room. “If everything turns out well in the end, and the guests are satisfied, that’s a great feeling.”
“Make the guests happy”. This was also Pauline Erpenbeck’s aim when she started her training. The 20-year-old has been training to be a hotel manager in The Fontenay since August 1, 2018. After completing her secondary schooling, she travelled around Australia for five months, garnering experience in gastronomy initially, before putting herself to the test in other practical areas. “I reached the conclusion that I enjoy practical work, and preferably in contact with the guest.” She particularly likes the variety: “No one day is like another.” She is working in a number of departments during her training – from Housekeeping, through Food and Beverage to Restaurant, Reception and Reservations and Staff. “A wonderful time of work, and at the same time personal, orientation, where I can discover myself and my interests,” Erpenbeck says.
Basis for varied career opportunities
This versatility also gave Dakers the incentive for choosing the profession. “The varying insights allow permanent professional as well as personal development,” she said. “This training course creates an excellent basis for my later career – whether in an hotel, abroad or in completely different sectors. Dedicated hotel professionals are in demand everywhere.”
Working where and when others are on holiday
What about the problematic aspects: Shifts, weekend and public holiday work? “A matter of attitude,” the two agree. “At The Fontenay, there are three Housekeeping shifts for instance: 06.30 to 15.30, 09.00 to 18.00 and 13.00 to 22.00, Erpenbeck noted. The day shift is best for one’s biorhythm, “but working late also has its attractions. Then you work on into a time when everything calms down and the atmosphere becomes very relaxed.”
Dakers and Erpenbeck have clearly found their dream job. Neither has yet decided whether the route they have chosen will take them to independence i.e managing their own hotel. But if that is the case, they would rather have it small, family-based and cosy. “A house in which I can live out my passion as hostess,” Dakers said. For both, the aim is to create a feeling of being at home for their guests, with good food and a great deal of personal contact. “That’s what it’s about in our profession after all,” Erpenbeck said, adding, “about the personal and the human.”