26 October 2012 11:17
People 1st has launched the first Level 4 apprenticeship framework designed specifically for the hospitality industry. The Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management has been developed to bridge the gap between the supervisory skills gained in an apprentice's early career and the strategic management skills required to work at a senior level.
People 1st developed the new framework and, working in partnership with UH Ventures and University College Birmingham, has gained funding from the National Apprenticeship Service to set up the delivery infrastructure for this new Higher Apprenticeship.
Ruth Asker-Browne, who leads People 1st's apprenticeship work, said that the Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management provides learners with a clear career path into more senior levels. "We've worked closely with learners, employers, mentors and assessors from across the hospitality industry to make sure that this new framework will deliver practical but rigorous training that has been designed specifically for the hospitality industry."
People 1st's research has shown that, of businesses with skills gaps, 39% believe that management skills need to be improved amongst their workforce. "Training staff and supporting the development of the next generation of leaders is extremely important for the hospitality industry if businesses are going to both survive and thrive" Ruth continued.
"Whereas intermediate and advanced apprenticeships focus on developing the front line and supervisory skills employers need within their organisation, the new framework will provide a clear career development path into management for learners."
"The Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management is all about giving learners the chance to apply in a practical setting the knowledge they gain in a learning environment. It is helping to develop the managerial skills of our next generation of leaders."
Janice Freed, business and curriculum development manager at UH Ventures, said that engaging with a range of individuals and organisations from across the industry will maximise the benefits of the Higher Apprenticeship. "Getting as many people as possible involved in the implementation stage of the Higher Apprenticeship will ensure that examples of best practice are captured and promoted, which in turn will address skills gaps within the industry."
Suzy Jackson, executive director for the Hospitality Guild, is also encouraging organisations to provide staff members with the further career development opportunities that are now available through the new framework. "The Hospitality Guild is absolutely committed to identifying and promoting the best courses in the hospitality industry, from entry level to the highest professional standard for all career paths. We are extremely supportive of the new Higher Apprenticeship, which gives us an opportunity to set professional standards for our wonderful industry," said Suzy.
"Apprenticeships offer businesses a great opportunity to attract and retain staff through offering relevant, on the job training that employers can tailor to their needs. Having a level 4 standard qualification specifically tailored for hospitality proves that we are serious about promoting Hospitality as a great place to work with great career opportunities."
Yolande Edwards, qualifications manager at JD Wetherspoon plc, said that the higher apprenticeship offers a fantastic opportunity to show employees the real, sustainable opportunities to the industry. "We really welcome the development of the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management and have already started to look at the new framework and how we can use it within the business" she said.
"We will be able to offer it to our existing staff and use it to attract kitchen, shift and hotel managers into our business with the ability to complete a higher apprenticeship programme within their chosen field of work." Research has shown that apprentices are a great investment as the average cost of investing in apprenticeship training in the hospitality industry is £4,240, which employers are likely to recoup within one year.
"With the development of the new Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management, the common misconception that apprenticeships are only for young people is clearly being challenged," said Ruth. "Apprenticeships are available to people of all ages and across different levels, from front line staff members to senior management."