Hospitality Guild launches kitemark to recognise training excellence

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Employment

The Hospitality Guild was founded last year, bringing together numerous industry associations and professional bodies
The Hospitality Guild was founded last year, bringing together numerous industry associations and professional bodies
Hospitality businesses that offer their team members good training and career development opportunities will now receive official recognition for doing so, thanks to a new accreditation developed by the Hospitality Guild and People 1st. 

The new kitemark system will help organisations promote their commitment to training and developing staff. It has been established after research from People 1st highlighted the need for external endorsement of training programmes.  

Annette Allmark, head of professional standards at People 1st, said: “We’ve been working to raise professional standards in the industry for a number of years and while we know of a number of employers who really do offer their team members fantastic training and career development opportunities, there was really nothing that recognised this officially.

“Our research showed that there was a desire for something like this, so we set about developing a new kitemark. Businesses can have either individual training courses or entire training programmes endorsed and it has proven extremely popular, with two employer programmes already kitemarked.”

Pub employers

Multinational hospitality business Beds and Bars and leading UK-wide pub group Spirit Pub Company have both already had their staff training and development programmes kitemarked. Both of these companies were also recognised for their employment initiatives in the 2013 Publican Awards,​run by our sister title the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

Donna Hewitson, group HR and training manager at Beds and Bars said: “We were keen to kitemark our Footsteps Training Programme for many reasons. We use Footsteps to ensure team members have a clear idea of where a career with Beds and Bars can take them – and how they’re going to get there.

“The Footsteps Training Programme starts with entry-level positions and develops employees all the way up to a general manager level. It provides the end-to-end career guidance that’s so important in attracting and retaining the right staff for our business.

“Of course, it’s not just about our organisation. We want to play a part in raising the standards of professionalism within the industry and we believe the new kitemark can help do that. It’s a fantastic initiative and we’re absolutely thrilled that our programme has been recognised.”

 Mark Peters,  head of learning and development at Spirit Pub Company,  added: “Of course we were keen to make sure our company’s training was recognised because we truly believe that it does offer excellent career development, but there was also the more altruistic desire to contribute to the professionalisation of the industry.

“The fact that the Hospitality Guild has now also recognised and endorsed our training really validates the work that we’ve put in and the experiences that we deliver.”

Staff retention

Allmark from People 1st concluded that she believes the kitemark will help improve staff retention within the industry.

“It has been clear for a number of years that the hospitality industry needs to do more to promote the career opportunities and pathways it has to offer, along with the fantastic training available to ensure that people are given the chance to develop new skills as they progress in their career,” she said.

“The kitemark system will recognise training courses and programmes that do this and we know that offering quality training can have a huge impact on retention.”

Hospitality businesses that wish to have either individual training courses or entire programmes kitemarked can get more information about the scheme and submit an application online at www.hospitalityguild.co.uk/kitemarking​.

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