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National Apprenticeship Week 2020: Using apprenticeships in the hospitality trade

Hayley Connor, Head of People and Learning at Brewhouse & Kitchen, discusses how they use apprenticeship schemes to develop future industry leaders

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW2020) brings together employers and apprentices across the UK and is a fantastic opportunity to put the spotlight on apprentices, focussing on the key theme for this year which is #LookBeyond. Everyone’s experience of an apprenticeship is different, and National Apprenticeship Week is a chance for us to celebrate apprentices themselves, appreciate their hard work and focus on what makes them unique.

In hospitality, apprenticeships are a great way to get future leaders on the right career path for them at an early age. Hayley Connor, Head of People and Learning at Brewhouse & Kitchen, has spoken about their apprenticeship scheme and how they promote diverse employment make up through their recruitment strategy.

Hayley Connor, Head of People and Learning: “In 2017 we launched our Up! Management development program which is a Level 3 apprenticeship for our rising star managers across Brewhouse and Kitchen. That has now evolved to be the Legends course, which is supported by the British Institute of Innkeepers Awards Body. The program develops our learners in HR, Project Management, Finance and Operations whilst developing key leadership skills. This program has been a lot of hard work, and at times stressful, but we can really see how our Up! candidates have grown over this time and some have taken the next step in their careers already.

As a Kitchen at Brewhouse and Kitchen, we offer a variety of courses for candidates to master their skills and develop towards the next step in their career. This includes nationally recognised apprenticeships.

Within our Front of House teams, we have roles called specialists. These roles champion 5 areas within the business; Beer, Wine, Coffee, Service and Spirits. Our specialists are tasked with being the keeper of knowledge within the team for their specialism and training our new starters. Our beer specialists are tasked with educating our guests on the world of beer by delivering our beer masterclasses. To become a specialist, candidates will attend a training course in your desired speciality. Candidates do then undertake rigorous assessments before being signed off but the position is awarded an enhanced pay rate.

Our recruitment strategy is based around diversifying our teams as much as possible, both in terms of how we recruit and how we attract talent. A key pillar of this is building multi-generational teams. Our guests are different ages and across different backgrounds, so we feel it’s important for our teams to reflect this.

Attracting under 18 talent has been an issue in the hospitality sector for a few years now, but many leaders in the industry started when they under 18, so it is crucial to attract talent at that age. Also, by bringing different generations into our teams, we balance out our culture and skillsets across the sites.”