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De Vere opens Greenwich Academy of Hospitality

By Lorraine Heller , 08-Jun-2011

The hotel and event space group De Vere has opened its fifth Academy of Hospitality, which will train 400 young Londoners in cookery and customer service.

Located at Davenport House in Greenwich, the academy is part of the company’s goal to train 10,000 16-24 year-olds to work in the hospitality sector over the next three years.

It is the fifth academy launched by the group since last year, and the first to open in London. The Academy already operates in Stockport, Crewe, Milton Keynes and Liverpool, and there are plans for a second London base and a further roll-out in Brighton, Leeds and Glasgow later this year.

“As London, and in particular Greenwich, prepares for one of the biggest hospitality events in the world in 2012, it is perhaps particularly opportune that we are opening here,” said Richard Balfour-Lynn, chief executive of De Vere Group and Patron of the Academy.

“We recognized the shortage of well trained, experienced individuals entering our business and therefore, through the Academy of Hospitality, our mission was simple: to create the right environment and training programme that would kick-start the career of many young people and give them all the tools they need to be outstanding in what they do.”

Hospitality careers

Through its academies across the country, De Vere hopes to encourage young people to embrace hospitality careers by offering them the chance to obtain academic qualifications and practical work experience.

Ultimately, the group hopes that the youngsters it helps – none of whom are in education, employment or training – could become “a valuable workforce that is acknowledged by all within the industry”.

The Greenwich Academy of Hospitality is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and it working in partnership with Greenwich Council, The Green Kitchen and Charlton Athletic FC.

Each year, 400 young people from Greenwich will study for Level Two apprenticeships in either Professional Cookery or Customer Service.

“We are committed to encouraging and inspiring talented hospitality stars of the future through the provision of work-based learning,” said Kellie Rixon, managing director of the Academy of Hospitality.

“In many cases it is just about giving them the opportunity and the hope. Regardless of academic achievement, social background or even challenging behaviour, everyone who joins us can succeed. We want to encourage them to flourish and grow as individuals and prospective employees in the sector.”

Yesterday, De Vere also announced the launch of a training restaurant and bar in collaboration with PwC and the Beyond Food Foundation, which will train homeless people in hospitality skills.

For the latest jobs in the hospitality sector, visit BigHospitality Jobs.