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Sommet Education launches its Foundation to support hospitality sector employment challenges

  • Sommet Education


Sommet Education, a leading worldwide player in the hospitality education boasting a community of 10,000 students and 60,000 influential alumni worldwide, is proud to announce the launch of its Foundation, a significant milestone aimed at supporting employment challenges within the hospitality sector.

The Foundation will concentrate on tackling the sector’s employment challenges by focusing on two levers of action: offering scholarships for hospitality education to talented individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and advocating for careers and professions in hospitality.

Empowering individuals from underserved communities to pursue rewarding careers in hospitality.

The launch of the Foundation comes at a pivotal moment for the industry, with the travel and tourism sector projected to provide employment for 449 million people worldwide by 2034 (source: World Travel and Tourism Council). By then, 12.2% of the global workforce will be powering this vibrant sector. Despite these promising figures, many destinations and hospitality employers continue to face recruitment challenges.

Drawing on Sommet Education's long-standing commitment to developing hospitality talent, the Sommet Education Foundation will leverage its global network of hospitality schools to train and open doors to careers in this promising industry for individuals from diverse and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Sommet Education Foundation will identify talents supported by a network of social partners, including UN agencies, governmental entities and NGOs. These talents will be selected in alignment with the framework of United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4, focusing on inclusive education. Funding and support will be provided to educate and empower, particularly youth from impoverished backgrounds and women, while also creating lifelong learning opportunities and ensuring that talents are gainfully employed within the sector.

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Joining the Hospitality Industry is more than a job guarantee; it is a promise of a rewarding and fulfilling career nurtured by human encounters, passion, cultural exchanges, and experiences. By offering scholarships leading to employment opportunities, we aim at offering life-changing opportunities to a new generation of talents and empowering them with the necessary skills to join the thriving hospitality industry.

Mrs. Anouck Weiss, Executive Vice-President at Sommet Education Foundation.

Sommet Education Foundation Patronage

The Foundation can already count on Accor as a Founding Patron. The hospitality group has already committed to promoting talent development, fostering social equality, and bolstering economic growth through a first dedicated initiative in India.

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As a leading hospitality group, investing in people’s talent is a key priority. Hospitality is a sector that transcends territories and borders. This implies open-mindedness and connection to others. I am proud to be in a sector that promotes cross-border work experiences and multicultural environments

Steven Daines, Chief Talent and Culture Officer

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The success of our employees must not be determined by diplomas, origins or nationalities. We want to guarantee each of our Talent the opportunity to reach their full potential by preventing inequalities and discrimination

Mrs. Anne-Sophie BERAUD, SVP Diversity & Inclusion & Social Care Accor

Promoting hospitality professions

To inform the Foundation's roadmap and strategic direction, Sommet Education Foundation engaged OpinionWay, a pioneering market research institute, to conduct a comprehensive European survey, with the primary objective of identifying the key factors that attract and retain talents in the hospitality industry. 1,300 young professionals and hospitality human resources managers across Europe were interviewed, along with 20 key industry leaders* (see list below) encompassing the broader spectrum of the sector, including hotels, restaurants, travel, tourism, independent, medium-sized, and large hotel groups and high-end retail.

Survey shows strong sector attractiveness and employer voluntarism to seduce and retain new talents

The service sector holds considerable appeal for 85% of young professionals across Europe. Three-quarters of young European professionals would be ready to join high-end hotels, restaurants and retail shops, praising the career opportunities, especially internationally, and the people-to-people connections. The survey confirms the overall challenge of the sector throughout Europe, with 59% of HR managers facing employment challenges. 78% state that Generation Z (18 to 28 years old) brings specific challenges from identification, recruitment, and loyalty.

Hospitality Unique promise fuels optimism in the sector

Professionals within the sector are resolutely convinced of the depth and appeal of their respective fields, with an overwhelming 86% expressing confidence in the sector's allure. Moreover, they exhibit unwavering faith in their ability to sustain employee commitment, rating it at an impressive 7.5 out of 10.

This sector uniquely offers pathways for individuals to advance socially and professionally, regardless of their educational background. It stands out as one of the few industries where individuals can achieve rapid success and take on greater responsibilities over time, effectively climbing the social ladder. This unique promise of upward mobility makes it particularly appealing to many. Furthermore, employers place a premium on motivation, soft skills, and service-oriented personalities, prioritizing these qualities over formal diplomas and are ready to invest in their talents. The overwhelming majority—93% of HR managers—emphasize the centrality of training in fostering talent excellence, development, and long-term loyalty.

Laurent Kleitman, Group Chief Executive at Mandarin Oriental shared on the subject: "Architects design the buildings of tomorrow. I would like people coming out of hospitality schools to be able to design the experience of tomorrow».

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About the Qualitative Survey

Analysis based on interviews with:

  • Pierre-Olivier Aguinalin – Chief HR Officer
  • Marion Amacker, Associate Director – Morgan Philipps Executive Search
  • Natalia Bayona, Executive Director – UN Tourism
  • Cyril Baron, General Manager – Caviar House & Prunier
  • Christian Catiello - Alpitour World General Manager Organization
  • Steven Daines, Chief People & Culture Officer - Accor
  • Alain Ducasse – Chef and Founder of École Ducasse
  • Isabelle de Bardies, CEO Angelina
  • Eric Frechon, Chef, Meilleur Ouvrier de France
  • Jade Frommer, Managing Director and Co-Founder - Ephemera
  • Christelle Grisoni, Managing Director - Bertrand Hospitality
  • Philippe Héry, Managing Director - Hippopotamus
  • Christopher Jones, Directeur Général - Brioche Dorée
  • Laurent Kleitman, Group Chief Executive Officer - Mandarin Oriental
  • Sabine Masseglia, Managing Director - St Barth Tourism
  • Katrin Melle, Regional Vice President DEI & Talent EAME – Hyatt
  • Carole Pourchet, CEO – Majorian
  • Maribel Rodriguez, Senior Vice-President – WTTC
  • Nathalie Seiler Hayez, Managing Director – Swiss Deluxe Hotels
  • Tigrane Seydoux, cofounder - Big Mamma Group


About Sommet Education:

Sommet Education is the world’s leader in hospitality education with a global network of 5 education brands.

It comprises two of the Top 10 globally ranked institutions: the prestigious Swiss originated hospitality business schools Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches. Sommet Education reinforced its leadership with culinary and pastry arts schools École Ducasse; South African Education leader Invictus and Indian School of Hospitality.

These institutions offer 400 undergraduate, graduate and technical training programs to 10,000 students and learners from 100 different nationalities in 10 countries. Teaching is offered on 20 campuses, as well as through state-of-the-art remote learning platforms. Together the schools have a network of 60,000 influential alumni in hospitality and beyond.

For more information, visit

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