Hospitality operators have been urged to take on more apprentices to fill skills gaps in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.
With the hospitality and tourism sectors already recording at least 30,000 vacancies every month, employers must look to apprenticeships, according to sector skills council People 1st.
Speaking during Apprenticeship Week, which runs until Friday, Brian Wisdom, People 1st chief executive, said: "It's not only Team GB that is ramping up its training. Wise employers have identified that apprentices are the most cost-effective way to build the loyal teams they need to win customers and generate improved profits.
The Government aims to increase the number of apprenticeships on offer to an annual target of 130,000, and has set aside just under £1b to achieve this next year.
From April, the new National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will oversee the expansion of the apprenticeship programme, and since January this year, prospective apprentices have been able to apply online for job vacancies advertised by employers.
However, a survey of 800 employers, published yesterday by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, revealed that 93% were unaware of the NAS or other measures to make the system easier.
By Daniel Thomas
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