Trade body vows to increase apprenticeships by more than half

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

More jobs: the sector takes action to recruit brand new talent
More jobs: the sector takes action to recruit brand new talent

Related tags: Bbpa, ukhospitality, Apprenticeship

The sector is looking to make positive changes to attract and retain talent as it celebrates ‘looking beyond’ with National Apprenticeship Week.

Between 2017 and 2018, there were 18,560 new apprentices in the hospitality sector.

But, as part of the Sector Deal for Tourism, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and other partners have committed to achieving 30,000 hospitality apprenticeship starts annually by 2025.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We’re especially proud of our commitment to increase the number of apprenticeships by more than 50% in hospitality as part of the Sector Deal for Tourism.

“We need to attract more people to work in our sector, and apprenticeships are a fantastic way of doing this, as shown by the success of the brewer apprenticeship that the BBPA helped to create and implement.”

Upskilling the workforce

National Apprenticeship Week 2020 launched this week, with hundreds of events taking place across England to celebrate diversity in apprenticeships and the benefits they bring.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality has created half a million new jobs over the past decade and has the potential to create hundreds of thousands more over the next 10 years.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of that job creation and starts in the sector increased by 15% last year while many other sectors experienced decline.

“They help provide opportunities at all levels across the UK and they are hugely valuable when it comes to upskilling the workforce. They help provide real career progression and are key to getting people off entry-level wages.”

Preventing new talent

Despite these positive perceptions of careers in the industry, there is still work to be done to convince over a third (35%) of parents who still believe hospitality careers have antisocial working hours and over a quarter (26%) who say it’s a ‘stop gap’ between school and university, according to research by HIT Training.

HIT Training managing director Jill Whittaker said: “We know there’s still a lack of understanding about what careers in this industry can offer in terms of progression, satisfaction and reward, which has resulted in a number of barriers preventing new talent entering the industry.

“However, there’s a huge opportunity for hospitality employers to maximise these encouraging perceptions from parents and teachers to attract and retain top talent and work towards closing the skills gap crippling the industry.”

Workplace prejudice

Greene King also initiated its own research to find out what extent there is prejudice when employing staff. It found more than half of British employers have made the decision not to employ someone because they didn’t like the way they looked – 43% didn’t employ the candidate because of their visible tattoos, while four in 10 didn’t approve of their clothes.

Greene King group HR director Andrew Bush said: “Employers should be open-minded and hire people based on potential, rather than just appearance.

“Unfortunately, our research shows many businesses still judge a book by its cover – which means those talented, intelligent and experienced applicants could be overlooked because they don’t conventionally ‘look the part’.”

Not going away

To help hospitality businesses maximise the recruitment and retention opportunities presented by changing perceptions of the industry, HIT Training has launched a report, Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality​.

It offers in-depth research and insight into the current challenges faced by the sector, along with practical tips and advice from hospitality leaders on how businesses can attract the next generation and target different talent pools to future-proof the sector.

Commenting on the report, Nicholls said: “Hospitality has struggled to fill gaps in recent years and the challenges are not going away. Too often we have an undeserved reputation problem, which undermines recruitment even further.

“This report by HIT Training outlines the challenges and opportunities we face as a sector when it comes to securing our future. It gives insight into understanding the workforce, the younger generation’s perception of the sector and how you can attract them.”

Related topics: Training

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