There should be more hospitality apprenticeships, says skills council

Even though research by skills council People 1st has found that the number of hospitality apprenticeships has more than doubled since 2010, the chief executive has stated that more needs to be done to continue growing the industry.

New figures from the Skills Funding Agency revealed that 35,540 people had started an apprenticeship in hospitality and catering between 2011 and 2012. This is compared to 16,790 who had done so between 2008 and 2009, whilst those actually completing the apprenticeships had risen by 10 per cent to 74 per cent in the same period. This is great news for the industry, as it has enabled many to get on the first rung of their hospitality careers, whilst the completion rates have highlighted the dedication that many have to the field.

People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom said: “The results have clearly been successful. We’ve revised almost all of the hospitality and catering apprenticeship frameworks to make sure that apprentices have the skills employers need, that stretch the learner, but are also flexible enough to reflect all parts of the industry."

However Mr Wisdom was quick to state that these figures now need to be worked on further. For example, independent firms are still lagging behind in apprenticeships and are not making the most out of the funding that is available to them, with employers having the chance to receive £1,500 from the government for every apprentice they take on aged below 24.

Furthermore, British Hospitality Association chief executive Bob Cotton revealed that between 2011 and 2012, only seven per cent of the 520,600 apprenticeships in the UK had been in the hospitality sector, and this needs to be greatly improved on. Businesses have been encouraged not to worry about the time or money they think it takes to recruit apprentices.

People 1st is currently planning to forge a relationship with the tourism sector in order to create apprenticeships within a new platform.

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency providing hospitality employment solutions.