New standards for hospitality apprenticeships, developed by a host of leading hospitality companies, have today been approved by skills minister Nick Boles.
Last month seven apprenticeship standards across aviation, hospitality, retail and travel were expected to be rubber stamped. But until now no hospitality proposals had hit the mark.
The new standards have been developed by a group of 24 employers and industry companies, and apply to the apprenticeship roles of senior chef - culinary arts, and senior chef - production.
The group included Compass Group, the Dorchester Collection, BaxterStorey, Institute of Hospitality, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons, ABTA, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Whitbread, and was led by Hilton Worldwide.
Skills training charity People 1st acted as the managing agent, including in consultations with a wide range of hospitality employers and small businesses.
Boles said he was delighted that hospitality had developed new apprenticeship standards.
He said: "Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and the hospitality trailblazer is leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow."
The standards, some of which are still in the development stage, are expected to be finalised by mid-October this year. They will seek to give employers definite markers of progress for apprenticeships, to make them more suited to the needs of the hospitality and travel industries.
Employers are expected to be invited to have their say on the standards before the October delivery date.
Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy at People 1st, welcomed the government's approval of the plans. She said: "The new standards mark a significant shift in the development and future use of apprenticeships, as employers now have a far greater say in the skills that apprentices learn.
"That can only help employers as they help prepare their workforce of the future, and it's also great news for apprentices, as they're going to learn the skills they know employers want them to have."
Kathryn Porter, division resourcing director at Hilton Worldwide, and chair of the hospitality trailblazer group, said: "Apprenticeships are an excellent route into the industry and our working group has spent significant time and energy to ensure these standards are the right fit for our industry.
"We look forward to piloting these new standards and further boosting career development in what is an exciting and dynamic sector."
Chris Jones, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group said: "It's encouraging to see the government actively promoting apprenticeships… it's so important that young people know that they have the option to earn as they learn."
However, Jones warned that some companies may still not have the time or money to take on apprentices, and said the reforms must lead to greater take-up of apprenticeships among both employers and young people.
The list of standards, including those still under development, are available to view on the People 1st website here.