Where the good jobs are


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A survey has confirmed what many people believe: The travel and hospitality industry is a good place to work. It pays well (with higher salaries for men) and has good prospects because it is a growth industry, particularly in South-east Asia.

Singapore’s respondents in the internet survey by ACI — a recruitment, executive search and professional training firm dedicated to the tourism, hospitality and lifestyle industries — were the largest number (37 per cent of 800). The jobs covered ranged from concierge, earning an average of US$22,546 a year, to US $92,544 for executive chef and senior director (US$200,000 annually).

 Underlining Singapore’s reputation as one of the most expensive cities globally, average salaries from respondents grew by 16.1 per cent, according to the 2014 survey. This was followed closely by Thailand (11.5 per cent) and China (9.8 per cent). Actual highest average salaries once again belonged to Macau with (U$106,800), followed by Hong Kong (U$84,936) and Australia (U$81,939). Malaysia once again posted the survey’s lowest average salary (U$37,418).

The survey, which covered nine countries in the region, said: “A telling factor was the spread across respondents’ tourism career spans. The majority (46 per cent) had worked in tourism for 11-20 years (higher than 39% in 2013’s survey), while the overwhelming majority (82 per cent) has been employed with their current employer for five years or less – similar to past results. The number of those employed with the present company for 12 months or less however, rose slightly to 32 per cent, up from the 28 per cent last year.
This could be the result of one or more of the following factors:
•    Employees’ confidence returned from the positive economic conditions and are more inclined to seek new opportunities and higher salaries
•    Companies recruiting new employees to capitalise on positive outlook
•    More companies look to Asia in its expansion plans, and setting up of offices particularly in sub-regions like Southeast Asia.”

The survey noted that female executives “continue to make strides toward professional equality”, but that salary inequality continues to exist with male respondents earning an average 12 per cent higher than female respondents. Still, this is a significant reduction from the 40 per cent disparity of 2013, “perhaps a sign that we are slowly but surely approaching parity”.

Employees appear more satisfied with their current prospects than they did in previous years, with just 34 per cent of those surveyed saying they believed that their current employer offered “excellent” or “good” opportunities for career progression, compared with the 28 per cent seen in 2013, and only 22 per cent felt career prospects with their present employer were “poor” or “zero” compared to the alarming 35 per cent from the previous survey.