The company said that the announcement built on its commitment to creating opportunities for young people, and follows the news earlier this year that is had launched the UK’s first Pizzaiolo Apprenticeship.
According to BigHospitality's sister publication M&C Report Pizza Express is offering four undergraduates the opportunity to join the company in September 2014 as full-time paid employees, as part of a year in industry before returning to university to complete their studies. There are plans to increase the number of placements in future years.
The 12-month scheme will provide students with all-round management training, giving practical insight into a career in hospitality, as well as invaluable on the job experience.
Students will receive a wide range of training and support, including mentoring from experienced leaders in the business, development courses, shadowing senior managers and the opportunity to lead their own projects. In order to allow the undergraduates to gain experience of working in different cities, they will spend half their placement year in Edinburgh and the other half in Manchester.
The group said that a key feature of the programme was that it is aimed at nurturing talent over the long term, even after students have completed their placements with the company.
Upon completion of the scheme, undergraduates will have the opportunity to take up ‘Manager on Duty’ positions at Pizza Express restaurants local to their university, giving them the chance to continue their management training and learning whilst studying.
When they graduate, students will have a chance to secure permanent roles with Pizza Express on the company’s fast track management programme.
Amanda Underwood, Pizza Express HR director, said: “The hospitality industry offers rewarding long term careers with the chance of quick progression, yet the perception amongst many young people is different, meaning that many won’t consider a career in the sector. We hope that by interesting them early and investing in their skills and training, they will see the wealth of opportunities this industry has to offer; whether that’s through our newly launched undergraduate scheme, our new Apprenticeship programme, or the thousands of new jobs we’re creating as we expand across the UK and globally.
“We have worked hard to develop an undergraduate programme that will help students put into practice what they have learnt at university whilst giving them experience that will prove invaluable when they graduate.”
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