Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group launches in-house training academy

16 August 2021 by
Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group launches in-house training academy

The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group is to launch an in-house training academy in a bid to encourage more people to consider a career in hospitality.

The 18-month scheme, starting this autumn, will be open to all age groups and lead to a Level 2 Apprenticeship qualification.

Workshops will cover topics such as foraging on the estate, knife skills, spending a day with a supplier, mental health awareness and understanding profitability and costings.

All those who complete the course will be guaranteed a full-time job in one of the group's sites, which includes five luxury hotels and a collection of holiday cottages across the Bolton Abbey Estate in the Yorkshire Dales and on the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire, both of which are owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

Available roles including chef, front of house, housekeeping and management positions.

Trainees will be offered a starting salary in line with their age, above current apprenticeship rates. Once qualified, a chef de partie working a 48-hour week in the group can earn around £25,858 per annum, plus gratuities of around £2,000.

The Devonshire Group is also creating 33 six-month placements through the government's Kickstart scheme. These are open to young people aged 16 to 24 who are receiving Universal Credit, and include training in roles such as commis chef or gardener.

Richard Palmer, managing director of the Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group, said: "The key message from me is that this is an invitation to gain invaluable life skills, which are transferable to many aspects of the hospitality industry, and beyond – for example, I know ex-chefs who are now hotel managers, working as head of innovation, and managing directors of foodservice companies. This grassroots approach is a viable and dynamic alternative to the traditional college route."

A number of other hospitality groups and chefs, including D&D London and Simon Rogan, have also launched in-house training academies this year in response to staff shortages across the industry.

Those interested in applying to the Devonshire Hotels' scheme can find more information on the group's website.

New head chef at the Devonshire Arms

Meanwhile, Chris O'Callaghan is to take over as head chef at the Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa in Bolton Abbey from September.

He replaces outgoing head chef Peter Howarth, who has been with the hotel since 2019.

O'Callaghan, a former head chef at Goldsborough Hall in Yorkshire and the Castle Dairy in Kendal, will oversee the Burlington Restaurant and the Brasserie, alongside the hotel's pop-up ventures, and is keen to help develop young hospitality talent.

"We are embarking upon a progressive period of development and Chris will play a pivotal role in this," said James O'Donnell, head of operations, Yorkshire, Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants group.

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