Foodservice businesses BaxterStorey, Holroyd Howe and Caterlink have teamed up to launch a new Apprentice Academy.
The announcement comes amid parent company WSH's ambition to create more food and hospitality job opportunities for young people
The academy, which was launched to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (9-15 March), will see the more than 200 new roles created within the three companies over the next three years.
A recent report published by workforce development charity People 1st identified that the hospitality industry will need to fill over 800,000 jobs by 2020, with 66,000 skilled managers required by that year.
The WSH academy will contribute directly to the Big Hospitality Conversation, an initiative aiming to create 60,000 new hospitality job opportunities by 2016.
WSH chairman Alastair Storey commented: "Our business is built on the talent of our people. We place great emphasis on developing and nurturing individuals who are passionate, enthusiastic and willing to embrace what can be a hugely rewarding career in hospitality.
"This industry can provide a career path like no other and our academy isn't just about helping young people get into work, it is about investing in the future leaders of tomorrow.
"The opportunities in this industry are often a well-kept secret. Our academy will provide individuals with the chance to get into a career which can be very financially rewarding, as well as offer specific benefits such as Monday to Friday hours, working in iconic locations.
"In this election year, the training and development of the next generation is high on the agenda of all parties. The Apprentice Academy will deliver high quality on the job training that offers a real alternative to university and equip our business with the skills we need to grow and compete."
Recruitment and training provider HIT Training will work with BaxterStorey, Holroyd Howe and Caterlink to create 50 roles in the first year, 100 in its second, and more than 200 positions by 2018.
The companies will launch two primary programmes, where apprentices will work in either front of house roles or kitchen-based positions, while there will also be apprenticeship opportunities in business administration. The Academy was developed over a 10-month period as part of an Advanced Management Project, a training and development programme designed by the business to prepare location managers for their next role.
Skills Minister Nick Boles urged employers of all sizes to consider apprenticeships as part of their growth strategy. He said: "Apprenticeships make absolute business sense while providing life changing opportunities for young people across the country.
Jill Whittaker, managing director, HIT Training added: "Well trained, competent staff are a valuable asset to any business and investing in staff training not only benefits employers but gives employees the opportunity to kick start and develop their careers in this wonderful, fast-growing and dynamic industry."