The value of taking on apprentices has once again been underlined, as sector skills council People 1st urge hospitality and leisure (H&L) businesses to bridge a 30,000 vacancies a month employment gap in time for the 2012 Olympics.
People 1st have predicted that employees such as chefs, customer service teams and managers will be like ‘gold dust’ in the run-up to the Games, and suggest businesses take on apprentices in order to prepare themselves for the rise in tourism.
Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said investing in apprenticeship training can be recouped more quickly than other sectors. “It’s not only Team GB that is ramping up its training,” he said. “Wise employers have identified that apprentices are the most cost-effective way to build the loyal teams they need to win customers and generate improved profits.”
While research this week shows that the majority of employers in H&L believe apprenticeships helped to improve productivity and staff retention, Wisdom claims the schemes can also benefit the apprentices as well.
“Apprentices benefit all round too; they can “earn and learn” and really grow their own skills which will stand them in good stead all of their working life. Research shows that apprentices will, on average, earn £100k more in a lifetime than other employees.”
McDonalds earlier this year announced aims to provide up to 6,000 apprenticeships to its 72,000 UK workforce, making it the largest apprenticeship provider in Britain, and Whitbread, operator of brands such as Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre, has promised to support 6,000 of its staff through apprenticeships such as food processing and cooking, and housekeeping, by 2010.
Apprenticeship Week runs through until Friday, 27 February.