Top employers pledge to change the image of hospitality apprenticeships

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Representatives from Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), Marston’s, Greene King, Jurys Hotel, GBK and Hallmark Hotels attended the first hospitality summit of its kind, organised by Lifetime Training, where they announced the formation of a steering group.

The group will meet quarterly to discuss ways in which they can tackle the perception of careers within the hospitality industry to ultimately increase the number of apprenticeship applications and help reduce the skills shortage.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy last year, which requires all UK employers in the private and public sector with a pay bill of over £3 million to contribute to the apprenticeship levy (0.5% of their annual pay bill), has also highlighted the need for employers to work together to maximise the return on this investment.

Graham Briggs, Apprenticeships Manager at Greene King, said: “As employers, we know what the perceptions and barriers are for apprenticeships in hospitality, which is why we’re grateful that Lifetime Training has facilitated this steering group.”

“Many parents, teachers and young people view jobs in our sector as the first rung on the career ladder before they move into a different sector when this really isn’t the case at all. We know we have a job to do in educating people and dispelling the myths surrounding hospitality apprenticeships and one way in which we hope to do this is through school engagement.”

Paul Capper, Vocational Learning Manager at M&BC/Amy Lou, Recruitment Manager, at GBK, said: “There is so much flexibility and opportunities for progression in hospitality. With most other professions like lawyers and doctors, once you train in your field you are in that job for life. 

“However, hospitality is the sector of infinite choice and one where you develop an extremely diverse skillset. It’s one of the only industries where you can start off as something like a pot-washer or bartender and accelerate through the ranks and become a general manager all within a few years.

Julie Proctor, Hospitality Account Director at Lifetime Training, said: “With the UK Government committing to creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 and the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, now is the time for employers to follow suit and stand together so that we can increase the number of apprentices and combat the industry’s productivity issue.

“It was extremely encouraging to have several of the top hospitality employers all come together and recognise the need to educate people about the opportunities and support available from a career in hospitality. By working collaboratively, we’re sure we will be able to start breaking down these barriers and start seeing the change that we all want to see.”

Lifetime Training offers a wide choice of training solutions to customers ranging from the assessment of training and development needs for large organisations, to course advice and industry recognised qualifications for individual learners.

It develops the careers of thousands of individuals across a broad range of sectors including hospitality, active leisure, beauty, retail, business administration, health and social care, and early years.

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