Hilton and Edwardian Hotels London are backing a drive for more ‘earn and learn’ opportunities to address the growing labour and skills shortage in hospitality.
Hilton is the latest hotel group to join the 5% Club, which encourages companies to offer ‘earn and learn’ opportunities – structured training programmes which give people the chance to work towards a qualification while being paid, such as apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships.
Founded by Leo Quinn, group chief executive of construction company Balfour Beatty, the 5% Club has more than 300 members across different sectors aspiring to have 5% of their workforce in ‘earn and learn’ positions within five years of joining.
Lady Cobham, director general of the 5% Club, said: “The hospitality industry is a key driver of growth for the UK economy, but with skills and labour shortages growing, it is facing a skills crisis and needs many more skilled employees. I believe providing more apprenticeships and training opportunities is the answer…
“I would really like to encourage business leaders to consider how they can provide as many ‘earn and learn’ opportunities as possible, investing in skills to develop their own business, but also playing their part in the bigger picture, so that as a country, we can continue to grow the hospitality industry and compete successfully in global markets, particularly post-Brexit.”
Kay Harriman, senior director of human resources – UK and Ireland at Hilton, said: “For those just starting out in this industry, structured training alongside paid, hands-on experience is often critical to build the necessary skills for a successful career… We’re already well on track to increasing our apprentice intake from 131 to 200 by the end of the year.”
Caroline Marais, general manager human resources, Edwardian Hotels London, added: “As the first hospitality group to join the 5% Club, we have seen the positive impact the partnership has made, with graduates from housekeeping, front of house, and food and beverage gaining valuable insight into how the business is run, as well as confidence and accountability.
“We fully support the 5% Club’s purpose of encouraging our sector to offer as many practical training opportunities as possible and hope this drive will see a range of other hotels sign up to the initiative.”