You can join the trailblazers and influence future apprenticeships standards, says Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy, People 1st
Apprenticeships have been a major topic for the past couple of years, and the government reviews and proposed reforms are now being implemented.
Of course, as a huge employer and beneficiary of apprenticeships, the hospitality industry has been front and centre in this debate, making sure employers' views have been represented at all stages.
It was with this central role of apprenticeships in mind that the hospitality industry sought to take part in the government's apprenticeship trailblazers. Hilton Worldwide led the trailblazer group of employers in collaboration with professional bodies; People 1st acted as its managing agent.
This is a fantastic opportunity for employers of all sizes to get involved in crafting the apprenticeships of the future. While it's not always an easy task to agree how to articulate occupations in such a varied sector, the hospitality trailblazer is firmly committed to achieving a consensus on what professional looks like. Employers have acquired a highly responsible role as the apprenticeship standards set the bar for professional competence; employers design the assessment approach and the new standards can help apprentices truly excel.
In June the trailblazer group submitted apprenticeship standards for senior culinary arts chefs, senior production chefs, hospitality and travel supervisors, and hospitality and travel managers. A wide range of stakeholders were involved in developing these standards and the areas chosen address issues of skill and labour shortages.
With official announcements about the standards due from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills later this month, the hospitality trailblazer group is preparing for more consultations with employers.
Part of the trailblazer work requires a broad representation from across the industry, so we'll be promoting future consultations through the People 1st website and on social media. We'll collate feedback so that the trailblazer group can incorporate everyone's views. Even if employers are not involved in apprenticeships, we want their feedback as they can help set professional standards for sector occupations.
Our conversations with employers and industry stakeholders have made it apparent that many are taking a ‘wait and see' approach, which is reducing the number of people starting apprenticeships. The trailblazer work is clearly exciting and marks a new step for employers in taking control in
the development, delivery and assessment of apprenticeships, but it's also important to remember that the existing apprenticeship frameworks will be available for some time.
apprenticeships in general - offer an unprecedented opportunity for businesses of all sizes across our sector to get involved.
To take part in the consultation or to give your views, visit www.people1st.co.uk/trailblazer