Whitbread to create 6,000 apprenticeships by 2020
Whitbread is set to invest £5.7m in creating more than 6,000 apprenticeships by 2020, as well as launch a dedicated training scheme for its coffee shop Costa brand.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has thrown his support behind Whitbread's initiative, saying that the Government want apprenticeships to be "level-pegging" with a university degree.
"There really has never been a better time to start an apprenticeship and it's a huge leap forward to have Whitbread, one of Britain's leading employers in the hospitality industry, hiring even more apprentices," he said.
The Costa programme will provide an intermediate apprenticeship in customer service and barista skills and will sit alongside its Premier Inn scheme, which has delivered over 1,000 apprenticeships across three levels since its launch in 2010.
Opening for applications in the summer, the Costa apprenticeship programme will begin at an intermediate level, with advanced and higher level schemes following at a later date.
To deliver its pledge for 6,000 apprenticeships, Whitbread plans to take on around 1,200 apprentices across its Premier Inn, Costa and restaurant brands each year.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, described the company's 45,000 team members are its "greatest asset" which it needs to support in order to develop skill sand build careers. "I firmly believe that investing in apprenticeships is essential to Whitbread's future success and to the health of the UK economy, as well as helping the next generation to achieve their full potential."
Whitbread said that 45% of apprentices are more likely to stay with the company, 34% apprentices gain a promotion within 15 months and 95% move to management positions within the same time frame.
Premier Inn currently aims to fill at least half of any new opening vacancies with people that were previously unemployed.
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