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Whitbread launches Olympics and Diamond Jubilee skills academies

By Peter Ruddick , 20-Feb-2012
Last updated on 20-Feb-2012 at 15:55 GMT2012-02-20T15:55:04Z

Premier Inn and Beefeater operator Whitbread is launching three skills academies across the UK to offer training for restaurant and kitchen managers in time for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympics later this year.

The Dunstable-based company, which also controls the Brewers Fayre and Costa Coffee brands in the UK, is investing over £1m in the Food and Beverage Skills Academies which will offer specialist training to aid career development.

The courses, to be provided at three sites in Hockley Heath, Manchester and Swindon, have all been recognised and formally accredited by the British Institute of Innkeeping.

Customer needs

Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread said the company was ensuring all of the 35,000 team members were ready for a Summer when London would be in the global spotlight.

"Whitbread is driven by our customers’ needs on every occasion. At the start of 2011, we had 2,000 trained chefs, kitchen and restaurant managers. By December 2011, we had trained a further 7,500 team members to meet our customers’ needs, providing great quality food and drink and the best customer service, and we hope 2012 will be even better,” he said.

The training is made all the more important, according to Whitbread, because many people are still recruited into the sector with little or no qualifications.

Courses in food product information, food preparation and cooking, meal presentation and customer service will all be available at the Whitbread Skills Academies.