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Hospitality employers turn to apprenticeships to tackle skills crisis

By Sophie Witts , 23-Mar-2016
Last updated on 23-Mar-2016 at 13:26 GMT2016-03-23T13:26:59Z

Restaurants and hotels use apprenticeships to tackle skills shortages

More than 30,000 apprenticeships have been pledged by employers as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2016.

The event – which ran from 14-18 March – saw a growing number of hospitality businesses turning to the schemes to tackle the industry’s ongoing recruitment crisis.

One in five vacancies in the hotel and restaurant sector are for skilled jobs, with the figure rising to almost half for skilled chefs, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

Development Economics has warned that the industry risks facing a staffing crisis by 2020, with thousands of employees set to exhibit ‘sub-optimal performance’ due to a lack of proper skills and training.

Taking action

But last week Starbucks announced that it would be hiring 1000 new young people and launching degree-level head office-based training schemes in digital, finance and HR.

Greene King is planning to take on 10,000 further apprentices by 2019, while Malmaison Hotel du Vin pledged to hire an apprentice chef in every hotel.

Other companies expanding their training schemes included Pizza Hut, Prezzo, Mitchells & Butlers, Compass Group and QHotels.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: "This week I've travelled the country meeting apprentices doing the most incredible jobs, from cooking mussels at Rick Stein's restaurant to fixing helicopters for the Royal Navy.

"Apprenticeships offer working people the jobs and training they need to build a great career. An apprenticeship really can take you anywhere.”

Now in its ninth year, National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. 

The 2016 event focused on how young people can ‘rise to the top’ through higher level training schemes.

Speaking at the launch of National Apprenticeship Week, Carol Muldoon, VP for partner resources at Starbucks, said: “Some people look at Starbucks and say ‘is a coffee shop a career?' And I say absolutely yes.

“You can go from barista to Bachelor of Arts all at Starbucks and have no debt at the end of your career.”

Last year Pizza Hut Restaurants became the first hospitality business to offer a degree level managerial apprenticeship, through a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.

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