In a month when Channel 4's Gordon Ramsay-fronted show Hotel GB has put the issues of industry apprenticeships and hospitality employment in the mainstream, HTP Training and The Hospitality Skills Alliance have both revealed the winners of its annual awards.
Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest scooped the prize for HTP Training's Employer of the Year in the private sector while Black won the title of Outstanding Work Experience Learner.
Robin Hutson’s venue, which will soon be home to a new restaurant venture launched by Angela Hartnett, was recognised for its commitment to helping its apprentices with career progression, support and training.
Head chef Luke Holder, who will be collaborating on Hartnett’s new restaurant, helps lead a team of eight apprentices with four more set to join.
Following an apprenticeship at The Royal Hotel on the Isle of Wight in 2010, Black is set to join Kerridge’s Marlow brigade and will now do so with an award to his name.
Rachael Fidler, managing director of HTP Training, which was founded in 2000, said apprentices like Black were vital to the future growth of the industry and the UK in general.
"The hospitality industry is one of the UK's most vibrant sectors and we are delighted to have been able to honour both the apprentices and the employers who have contributed to the success of the industry. I hope these awards inspire countless other youngsters and employers to replicate this success. They could all make a real difference to our economy."
Hospitality Skills Alliance
Meanwhile successful apprentices and apprenticeship schemes in the industry have also been recognised by the Hospitality Skills Alliance as James Northard, from the Grassmoor Golf Centre in Chesterfield, was named Hospitality Apprentice of the Year in the UK Hospitality Apprenticeship Awards 2012.
The awards, which were handed out in London last week, are organised by The Hospitality Skills Alliance alongside the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) plus other industry partners.
After scoring top marks over two days of assessments and challenges, Northard received his award and prizes which include a placement at Raymond Blanc's Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
In other categories, Harley's Diner in Peterborough was named UK Hospitality Apprentice Employer of the Year while the accolade of UK Hospitality Apprentice Provider of the Year went to Babcock International Group.
If you know an apprentice, mentor or employer that you think also deserves similar recognition there is still time to nominate them for the first ever Hospitality Guild Apprenticeship Awards before the deadline closes on Friday 12 October.