New scheme set to encourage hospitality apprenticeships

Any effort made by an industry to increase the influx of young people into their sector should be welcomed, not only by employers but by those seeking work.

Not only do these sorts of schemes help businesses bring in the very best young talent around and teach them the skills they need, but it also creates major opportunities for those in need of employment.

With this in mind, those keen on securing hospitality work should be pleased that a campaign has been started to increase awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships.

The Hospitality Guild has put the wheels in motion with regards to its Act Now! Scheme, which it hopes will increase the amount of young people gaining hands-on experience in the sector.

At the same time, it claims that there will be benefits for businesses too as they can cultivate a dynamic, skilled workforce.

Suzy Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild, said she felt the scheme would not only help solve the employment crisis but also be a big boost to the industry at large.

"With more than 2.5m people unemployed throughout the UK, the hospitality industry is in a fantastic position to be able to help move people into work, especially through apprenticeships – and at the same time address its current skills gaps," she said.

"We want everyone to be able to take part, from small businesses that have never employed an apprentice before, through to large companies that are already employing hundreds of apprentices each year."

The campaign is based around five steps, all of which are designed to allow employers to see the benefits of offering apprenticeships in their day-to-day operations.

Firstly, the scheme wants to see firms use pre-employment training designed specifically for the hospitality industry. From then, companies could hire someone who has completed this programme.

The guild believes firms should look to hire an apprentice after consultation with an apprenticeship training association and also use innovative, new tools to deliver the apprenticeships rather than simply shadowing.

Furthermore, it recommends that hotels, restaurants and pubs become registered Good Employers on the industry's careers guidance website and, finally, that they provide a good route for those who have completed their apprenticeships.

This means offering people higher level apprenticeships in areas such as hospitality management or creating new roles.

Ms Jackson explained: "We want to see more businesses and industry organisations Act NOW! on apprenticeships and pre-employment training, as there are a huge number of benefits – both for the business and for the learner."

If the scheme goes well then it could see a wealth of apprenticeship opportunities open up for people wanting a career in hospitality.

This would then offer an efficient, rewarding way into an industry where there is plenty to aim for once you get your 'foot in the door'.

As Mr Jackon explains, "apprenticeships are a great way to go", not just for businesses but also for young people keen on a job in their respective industries.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with your career in hospitality