Independent hotel group Elite Hotels has called on the hotel industry to change its view on apprenticeships and recognise the value apprentices can bring.
Recognising the need to champion careers in hospitality and give promising young individuals the chance to gain knowledge, learn skills and work alongside industry professionals, Elite Hotels is celebrating 20 years of hosting apprenticeship programmes.
Working with schools and colleges local to the four hotels in the Elite group – Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, The Grand Eastbourne, Luton Hoo hotel Golf and Spa and Tylney Hall Hotel and Gardens – as well as industry charity Springboard UK, Elite Hotels has fully embedded apprenticeships into the business structure, with a “unique” form of training in five-star hospitality service.
Paul Coley, group personnel and development manager at Elite Hotels, said: “When the apprenticeship levy first came into place, I know a lot of hotels and hospitality businesses were concerned about both the financial implications and the time that would need to go into creating a new strategy.
“However, as we already had an apprenticeship programme in place, we knew just how valuable apprenticeships can be – creating a pipeline of talent is key to our recruitment strategy and apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to welcome young people into the world of hospitality and help develop talent to combat the skills gap in our industry.”
He added: “Apprenticeships are beneficial both to the business and to the apprentice. With a confidence and skillset that is only gained whilst working alongside learning, many former apprentices are still with us today in full time roles and have become ambassadors of the scheme.
“Elite apprentices are real assets to our company and we love being able to play a part in inspiring the next generation of hospitality leaders.”