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Hospitality Apprenticeship Week 5-9 August 2019

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Hospitality Apprenticeship Week 5-9 August 2019

Hospitality Apprenticeship Week 5-9 August 2019

Ask young people what they want out of a prospective career, and chances are that variety, meeting new people, and traveling the world will come pretty high up.

Yet despite ticking all those boxes – and then some – hospitality is undervalued as a career. It’s seen by many as more of a stopgap: something you do for a while before looking for your “proper” job, perhaps in a gap year or over a couple of summers.

This year, though, marks the first ever Hospitality Apprenticeships Week 5-9 August 2019, supported by businesses and bodies such as Pizza Express, the Institute of Hospitality, Marriott Hotels and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Its aim is to change perceptions among young people and their parents that hospitality is only for low-paid, part-time or seasonal work, and open their minds to the prospect of a thriving career in the industry.

Throughout the week, employers will be showcasing potential careers to school and college leavers and promoting apprenticeships as part of the national #FireItUp apprenticeship campaign. Bars, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues are among those taking part.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, says that negative perceptions around a career in hospitality are not the only problem facing the industry. Changing demographics and a forecast fall in migration are also leading to recruitment challenges.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of promoting hospitality as a career of choice and providing an alternative development pathway into senior level roles, as well as entry level,” she says.


Growing businesses

One company taking staff development seriously is The New World Trading Company (NWTC), whose award-winning brands include The Florist and The Botanist bars and restaurants.

Named within the top 10 of Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For, for the last three years, the growing business says that nurturing its people through high standards of training and personal development is key to its success.

“Our people are right at the heart of everything we do," says Natasha Waterfield, HR Director of New World. "A career with NWTC is so much more than just a job, which is why we aim to give all team members not only a thorough understanding and knowledge of the business and industry, but also to build their confidence and showmanship which, in itself, are highly valued transferable skills".

Natasha continues "In order to nurture our teams through both a personal and professional journey with us, we conduct regular employee surveys at key stages of each team members training and development journey to ensure our team is engaged and happy".


Employees’ views

Of course, this is not just for the benefit of the workers themselves, important though that is. At HGEM, we have always known that staff development and satisfaction are essential to

our key area of concern: guest experience management. Put simply: happy, well-trained staff equals happy, returning customers.

That’s why we support major clients in the hospitality sector, such as New World Trading Company, in running tailor-made employee surveys, enabling managers to discover what their staff really think about their place of work and the opportunities it offers.

The surveys can be designed for all stages of employees’ journeys: induction, probation, anniversaries and exit. Managers can identify strengths and weaknesses in different departments, and work out where to target their improvement efforts for maximum return. We can also respond to any training needs identified with our Little Gem e-learning modules, which deliver training on industry-specific topics to get the best results from teams.


More than just a job

Yes, it can be exhausting, chaotic and demand random working hours. But it’s far more than just a summer job: it also offers unrivaled opportunities to travel, learn transferable people and business skills, and progress into senior and management roles. And, as HGEM Operations and HR Director Lisa Chambers recently pointed out, “a waitress can change 200 people’s days, every day”. There’s not many careers where you can say the same.

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