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The hospitality industry: Looking beyond traditional hiring routes with 30,000 new apprentices

04 Feb 2020
People 1st International
Hospitality employers are continually looking for ways and means to encourage serious talent into their industry to strengthen their workforce, increase productivity and raise the bar.  And apprenticeships are certainly showing all the signs that they could be a significant part of the answer, offering future talent hands on experience, on the job training and a clear progression pathway within the industry.
Hospitality faces a number of misconceptions, such as low pay, long unsociable hours, limited opportunities to develop and not offering long-term careers options.  This is also echoed in low levels of staff retention with an average labour turnover in the region of 75% compared to the UK all sector average of about 15% .
Yet 80% of companies who invest in apprentices report an increase in staff retention – they develop and grow within a company and become fully embedded in the organisations culture.  Plus, apprentices pack quite the punch when compared to more traditional hiring routes.  They can add a whole new dimension to the workplace, bringing a fresh perspective and new ideas boosting overall business productivity.  In mentoring an apprentice, it tackles skills shortages but also helps to self-assess and re-evaluate current staff skills and work methods, streamlining existing processes and improving efficiency.
Simply put, apprentices may well be the future for business – enthusiastic employees with a drive and determination to learn and progress, gaining confidence and eventually becoming a full member of the team deeply invested and embedded in the culture and values of the organisation.  And hospitality employers are seeing the benefits firsthand:
[Advantages are…]Two-fold: Allowed us to attract, develop and retain a new, younger talent pool who historically may not have looked at hospitality as a long term career choice whilst also educating our managers on the benefits of growing our own and future proofing our workforce.  Secondly allowing our existing workforce to gain nationally recognised qualifications to drive their confidence, ability and career progression.
Paul Capper, Vocational Learning Manager, Mitchells and Butlers
The apprenticeship standards have helped us to develop a model of delivery where we can grow our own staff to be chefs of the future.  We have seen an increase in staff wanting to make hospitality a career due to the improved offering and structure.  So much so that we now have an annual Chef Academy programme which is proving successful.
Jo Mortimer, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, PGL Travel

New standards adding value to hospitality

Apprenticeships have been through quite the reform over the past few years with employers becoming more heavily involved in the design, development and now, the quality assurance.  This employer-led approach is starting to pay dividends.  Businesses are beginning to see a very encouraging pipeline of talent coming through on standards ranging from level 2 up to level 4.
Nearly 30,000 individuals have started on the new hospitality standards – and 5,500 of these have now successfully completed their apprenticeship. With this level of investment from employers and the positive rewards to business, it is no wonder the industry has committed to creating an additional 10,000 apprenticeship ‘starts’ a year by 2025 as part of the Tourism Sector Deal.
On offer to individuals and businesses are currently 7 new standards up to level 4, with 2 more in development.  Each subjected to continual employer assessment keeping them in line with today’s consumer demands and expectations and giving employers the confidence that they are very much fit for purpose.  The standards available include:
  • Level 2:  Hospitality team member, Production Chef and Commis Chef
  • Level 3:  Hospitality supervisor, Chef de Partie, Senior Production Chef and Patisserie & Confectionary Chef (in development)
  • Level 4: Hospitality Manager and Senior Culinary Chef (in development)

Making this possible: The Hospitality Skills & Quality Board

Driving the employer-led approach to hospitality apprenticeships and ensuring the standard reform is proactive and not reactive thereby meeting business needs head on, is the Hospitality Skills & Quality Board.
Uniting employers, industry bodies, training providers and end-point assessment organisations to act with ‘one voice’, the board drives quality of apprenticeships and ensures they are fit for purpose for all stakeholders.
With almost 30,000 apprentices now registered on the hospitality standards, we’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved. Through a combination of passion for skills and expertise in building robust apprenticeship programmes, the board works with businesses to help them meet industry needs. Our primary focus is to instil confidence in their ability to maximise the skills of existing talent and build a strong pipeline for the future.
Chair of the Hospitality Skills & Quality Board, Kathryn Porter, Director of Youth Strategy
for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Hilton
Members are united in this employer-led approach and strongly feel its importance in the development and quality assurance of apprenticeships…
It provides us with the ownership and ability to commit to our staff and deliver what we need as a business and what our apprentices need to be successful in their role.
Jo Mortimer, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, PGL Travel
For more information on the hospitality apprenticeships available to your business and employees, click here.
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