Hilton Worldwide has announced it will create 100 hospitality apprentice opportunities for school leavers and job seekers across the UK with the launch of the Hilton Apprenticeship Academy.
The creation of the academy, timed to coincide with GCSE and A-Level exam results, is designed to build on the success of the company's Chef Apprenticeship Academy which has trained more than 60 people since it was launched in 2010.
Starting in October, Hilton Worldwide will take on at least 25 apprentices in each quarterly intake over the next twelve months from locations across the country including Aberdeen and Southampton.
Ben Bengougam, Hilton Worldwide's vice president for human resources in Europe, said the apprentices would gain a Level 2 Apprenticeship qualification equivalent to five A-C GCSEs.
"Attracting the right talent into our business at all levels remains integral to our business strategy, especially at a time where we are experiencing rapid growth across the UK."
The apprenticeships, co-created by the hotel business and training provider Lifetime UK, are available in a range of hospitality disciplines including sales, professional cookery and food and beverage service.
"We recognize the need to ensure young people have access to opportunities and training so they obtain the necessary skills to make them attractive in a global marketplace," Bengougam added.
John Hayes, the UK Skills Minister, welcomed the announcement while James Fox, an apprentice at the final stages of the chef apprentice programme, said schemes like this helped young people consider a career in the industry.
"Although I didn’t grow up wanting to work in hospitality I now feel like I’ve found my calling. The apprenticeship gave me a strong theoretical grounding in a practical environment and the people I’ve met here have been really inspiring – hospitality is an exciting industry," he said.
After graduating Fox will take on a full-time role at the Hilton London Metropole - 95 per cent of the participants in the chef programme successfully head into employment.
Each job seeker on the scheme announced today will receive a salary while all their fees and travel expenses will be paid for. The programme itself will feature on-the-job training from qualified experts, workshops, mentors and master classes.