There has been no better time to consider starting an apprenticeship programme for your business, says Alex Khan, chief executive officer at Lifetime Training
Now is a great time for the UK hospitality sector to embrace the benefits of apprenticeship training programmes. You only need to browse the internet or watch popular TV to realise that apprenticeships are delivering real benefits to businesses and young people across the UK in a number of sectors.
Lifetime Training is delighted to support the Think Again campaign, which has taken the lead in the debate on how apprenticeships offer cost-effective skills development in the workplace that is proven to deliver greater productivity and staff retention, along with exceptional customer service.
A survey we conducted last year revealed that 90% of employers value a young person's ability to bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas to the workplace. But half of those questioned also told us that in addition to the academic curriculum, their staff would benefit greatly from being taught more work-related skills such as communication, teamwork and customer awareness.
A growing number of hotels, pubs and restaurants are choosing to work with Lifetime Training to take advantage of our work-based training to fill skills gaps, motivate staff and improve the customer experience, with many now launching "academies" to boost their in-house training, or as an external training function to enhance their staff development.
Of course, not one style of academy fits all but this enhanced training model has many benefits. In our experience, the academy model drives an increase in motivation and commitment from staff, which improves their attitude to the training and their new role. This can take the form of additional masterclasses for apprentice chefs, industry visits or bespoke learning modules for front-of-house staff. This additional training can provide an immediate return, with visible improvements in the interaction between your staff and customers.
The academy model can also deliver greater knowledge and develop skill sets quicker in apprentices while strengthening the brand standards and culture into a training programme. This added training in the workplace can immediately deliver a higher standard of professionalism from staff who value the investment they see being made in their career.
By learning from peers and senior staff, apprenticeships will engender a more mature approach to work, and as many academies have a rigorous selection process the result is that staff will be more motivated and committed to their programme.