The Casual Dining Group (CDG) has launched a pilot apprenticeship scheme, in a bid to recruit and retain high-quality staff to its brands.
The company, which runs the Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Las Iguanas and Belgo groups of restaurants, currently has a chain of 300 restaurants, and employees 8,000 people.
The new pilot apprenticeship scheme, which will see the group working with training provider Remit Training, will offer "bespoke" programmes to support the career development of existing staff and new recruits in kitchen, front of house and management roles.
It is not known how many staff will be trained under the new scheme, which starts this month, but a spokesperson for CDG said the opportunity "will be offered to all relevant team members".
Commenting, CDG CEO Steve Richards said: "The success of our restaurants is down to the quality of the experience and service that our people deliver to our guests. Therefore this partnership is an important step in the development of our business and our people - one that will support our ambitious growth programme."
Sue Pittock, chief executive at Remit Training added: "We have an excellent track record when it comes to working in the industry and have worked with leading brands to deliver a range of bespoke hospitality qualifications.
"We are very much looking forward to working with the CDG brands to recruit, train and develop their workforce to support their business growth plans."
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