The debate was held last Wednesday (25 September) between 4 and 5pm, with participants able to ask questions or offer their own comments using the hashtag #qactnow.
It was the third event of its kind to be staged by the Guild, which unites 23 of the leading hospitality associations and some of the hospitality industry’s largest employers .
BigHospitality rounded up the views and comments made by employers and industry bodies on the day.
- What are the benefits?
Strada, the group of Italian restaurants owned by Tragus, was the guest 'Tweeter' for the day, offering advice for other employers based on its own experience. The Hospitality Guild kicked off the debate by asking why Strada offers pre-employment training.
- What job roles is pre-employment training best suited for?
The views of other employers were unianimous - pre-employment training can help prepare a wide range of people to work in the sector, whether they are new to the role, returning to work after a long period of time, or would like to gain some experience and skills before starting an apprenticeship. But does it suit some types of work ahead of others?
- How do we attract people to do a pre-employment course?
The hospitality industry is notorious for having a high turnover of staff, which means that employers are often on the look-out for new talent and as a result are increasingly trying out new ways of letting potential employees know about their vacancies. Pre-employment training is a great way of doing this, but how do employers make people aware of exactly what they're offering?
- What’s the best approach to offering pre-employment training?
Sector skills council People 1st said it's about providing taster sessions and simulations in safe environments and slowly introducing young people to the work. Strada added that offering additional 'trial shifts' can help them understand more about the business.
- Are there any drawbacks?
Interestingly, no one suggested any drawbacks of pre-employment training.
Sammi Filsell, who works for hospitality training provider Flow, was quick to point out the financial benefits that it actually offers the business. She explained that the group behind Edinburgh bar Tiger Lily (@TigerlilyEdinb) now save around £70k every year, having moved to web based pre-employment training....
BigHospitality Special Feature
The issue of pre-employment training will be discussed further in our own upcoming Special Feature. ‘How to attract young people into the industry and offer them a career path to success will be the theme, with the four-part feature will be going out in a special BigHospitality newsletter at the end of the month. Subscribe here.
The Hospitality Guild's Act NOW! on Apprenticeships campaign was launched in February 2013. For more information visit www.hospitalityguild.co.uk/actnow.