The new Academy, which has been created in partnership with training provider Babcock, will see 16 apprentices being trained as chefs to NVQ level 2, with Marriott hoping to almost double that figure the following year.
“With the youth unemployment figure in the UK at nearly one million, we recognise the need to open up opportunities to people and ensure they have the training and support they need to help them excel in their careers,” said Bridgett Price, chief human resources officer for Marriott International in Europe.
“With exciting development and growth opportunities within our hotels in Europe comes the need for skilled people to take the hospitality industry forward. The big drive for us is making young people aware of the opportunities we can offer and showing them that this is an exciting industry with real career progression.”
The MCAA is one of a number of steps taken by Marriott International in Europe in its bid to ensure young people have the opportunity for a career in hospitality. The hotel group recently launched a pilot engineer apprenticeship programme in London, which recruited three young people to learn the ropes, and is currently working to take the success of its Government Youth Contracts in Scotland nationwide.
The news follows last week’s release of the Richard Review into apprenticeships,which offered a series of 10 recommendations to secure the future of apprenticeships in England.
The independent review, carried out by entrepreneur and former Dragon's Den star Doug Richard, concluded that the quality of apprenticeships does need to improve and that they should be more focused on the needs of employers. And it has, on the whole, been welcomed by leading hospitality bodies and industry figures.
Meanwhile, just yesterday, serial restaurant investor Luke Johnson told delegates at the Arena Christmas Lunchof the importance of young people in driving innovation in the restaurant sector.
“Part of the reason I enjoy the hospitality sector is because it is full of young go-getters and I think it’s terribly exciting,” he said. “Every business should be partnering with 20 and 30-somethings right at the top as a matter of policy.
“Currently, those over 50 own virtually all the net assets and control all of the levers of power in society. In other words, people under the age of 50, once you deduct the debt, own nothing.
“Too many young people feel disenfranchised and demoralised. And we cannot let all that talent go to waste. Otherwise, long term, we risk what the demographic specialists call inter-generational conflict.”