Industry celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Industry celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

The on-trade and hospitality sectors have been celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, running from 4-8 March 2019.

According to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), so far this year the number of apprenticeship starts in hospitality and catering for the top levy payers are up 5% (an increase of 700) on 2017/18 – when there were 14,000 starts in hospitality and catering through 900 different employers.

As part of its celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week and the vital role apprenticeships pay in the future talent pipeline of both brewing and pubs, the BBPA supported and attended a parliamentary showcase of apprenticeships by the Pub and Bar Careers Group yesterday (6 March).

In its third year, the Hospitality Showcase united companies to portray the diverse range of roles within the sector and to reiterate to government the importance of cross-party support to ensure the hospitality sector has the right foundations to continue to thrive in British towns, cities and villages.

“We need a cohesive strategy across government departments to help hospitality”, says Keith Knowles OBE, chairman of Perception Group, which works to promote careers within the sector.

“In particular, our education system needs to better understand and embrace the career opportunities and the flexibility that roles within hospitality offer and the range of entry levels open to all.

“From traineeships, apprenticeships, to graduate programmes this industry offers hope and scope across a range of abilities.

“A more joined up approach will enable this industry to develop homegrown talent, as well as offer reassurance to companies who continue to invest in all areas of hospitality, offering real jobs that can fit flexible lifestyles as well as create the business leaders of the future.”

According to research from Greene King, nearly two thirds of people (63%) would consider an apprenticeship as the most useful start to their career; over four fifths (82%) see an apprenticeship as an attractive alternative to university; and over half (59%) of people believe there just aren’t enough apprenticeship schemes around.

“I am a great believer in apprenticeships,” comments Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA.

“I did not go to university and know and admire many people for whom an apprenticeship route into employment, or during their employment, was enormously valuable for them.

“It is essential that everyone recognises this across government and in all our educational establishments, so apprenticeships are not seen as second best to university degrees.”

The Deltic Group has also been celebrating this week with its first ever apprentice graduation – a cohort of 15 apprentices – following a 12-month programme.

The late-night business will also welcome a further six people onto the programme this week, bringing the total number of Deltic apprentices to 51.

“There are so many fantastic career opportunities available in the late night sector,” says Zoe Paycna-Wood, HR director at The Deltic Group.

“Most of our senior team started on the ground and have worked their way up – and so investing in our people is key.

“These apprenticeship schemes help us equip our talent with the skills they need to continue to progress.”

Over the next year, Deltic hopes to recruit upwards of 30 new apprentices.