Why apprenticeships are so important to hospitality

In the dynamic realm of hospitality, where delivering exceptional service is paramount, a critical element often needs to be addressed: nurturing talent.

As a talent and culture lead at five-star Grand Dame hotel The Landmark London, I hold a firm conviction that apprenticeships have the key to ushering in the next generation of talent, innovation and growth in our industry.

Hospitality is a landscape brimming with opportunities. However, these opportunities often elude those who have not explored a career in our sector. This is where the Apprenticeship Scheme comes into play.

Read more: Apprenticeship levy: where next in its evolution?

The impact of this scheme transcends cultivating emerging talent; it also invigorates existing team members, attracts brand new talent into the industry, and inspires people who may have never thought to join a hotel group before.

It extends an open invitation for them to explore uncharted territories, to delve into various departments and acquire skills that surpass conventional boundaries.

Our team evolves with each apprentice's transformative journey, fostering a culture of adaptability and continuous improvement.

The Apprenticeship Scheme isn't merely about honing skills but about enriching the team members’ journey through learning and development. It is about allowing everyone to upskill themselves and enrolling them in the appropriate apprenticeship.

The scheme encompasses a philosophy of education and development that moulds careers, not job roles.

We can cultivate skills, knowledge, and expertise through a strategic blend of in-house workshops and tailored apprenticeship programs.

This scheme champions inclusivity, dispelling that specific roles are unsuitable for apprenticeships.

Every team member, irrespective of their current position, is empowered to grow.

Our vision offers a variety of 75 diverse apprentice programmes, ranging from levels two to seven.

With the growth and success of our apprentices, the goal is to see team members progress to our target of 12 promotions in the first year.

We’re so passionate about the transformative potential for apprenticeships that we have set our sights on 25 apprentices in the first year, 40 in the second, and an impressive 60 apprentices in the third.

How can businesses make the most of apprenticeships?

Our ultimate goal is to have 100 apprenticeships across the three hotels in our portfolio.

Alongside, we have hired new group talent development manager, Andew Wanless, to support with our enhanced people development strategy.

Wanless will not only head up the apprenticeship scheme, but he also intends to implement strong professional development plans for team members, including access to professional accreditation and qualifications.

Hospitality is not just a job – it is a professional career with scope for development, and our ambitious apprenticeship scheme and strong people policies show the power of this.

We are determined to help our team members realise the opportunity for industry growth while introducing new talent into the thriving hospitality sector.

Post-Covid was a tricky time for the sector, leaving gaping gaps in the market. It’s through this learning, we refocused and recognised the vital importance of welcoming, engaging and fostering new talent.

Nicola Forshaw is group director of talent and culture at Landmark London