Casual dining chain PizzaExpress has launched a new undergraduate training programme in a bid to recruit future leaders for the hospitality industry.
The news follows the company's move earlier this year to launch the UK's first Pizzaiolo Apprenticeship.
Amanda Underwood, HR Director for PizzaExpress said: ‘The hospitality industry offers rewarding long term careers with the chance of quick progression, yet the perception amongst many young people is different, meaning that many won't consider a career in the sector.
"We hope that by interesting them early and investing in their skills and training, they will see the wealth of opportunities this industry has to offer; whether that's through our newly launched undergraduate scheme, our new Apprenticeship programme, or the thousands of new jobs we're creating as we expand across the UK and globally."
PizzaExpress will offer four undergraduates the opportunity to spend 12 months with the company as full-time paid employees from next September before they return to university to complete their studies. There are plans to increase the number of placements in future years.
The scheme aims to offer students all-round management training, giving practical insight into a career in hospitality, as well as invaluable on the job experience. In order to allow the undergraduates to gain experience of working in different cities, they will spend half their placement year in Edinburgh and the other half in Manchester.
When they graduate, the students will have a chance to secure permanent roles with PizzaExpress on the company's fast track management programme.
Underwood added: "We have worked hard to develop an undergraduate programme that will help students put into practice what they have learnt at university whilst giving them experience that will prove invaluable when they graduate."
More information and details on how to apply can be found at www.pizzaexpressyourself.com/undergraduate-placements. The closing date for applications is 31 December 2013.