Leading names from the hospitality sector have united to introduce a new apprenticeship scheme, Hospitality Apprenticeship North East, giving 16 to 25 year olds in the north east of Scotland excellent opportunities for a career in hospitality.
Up to 12 prominent north east hotels including The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen, Meldrum House in Oldmeldrum and the Fife Arms in Braemar are offering young adults a bespoke 18-month apprenticeship programme, which will give them experience in four areas of hotel operation – housekeeping, reception, food and beverage and kitchen. Apprentices will have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses and learning journeys as well as the option to continue beyond the 18 months’ apprentice scheme with an additional six-month project within their hotel.
Participating hotels have all committed to paying the apprentices the national minimum wage – a higher rate than the national apprentice rate. Apprentices will achieve an SVQ Level 5 on completion.
Financially supported by the participating hotels, Opportunity North East (ONE) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and delivered by Training Matters, applications for the 2019 intake of students – which will start work in October – are now open via www.hospitalityapprentice.com.
One of the drivers of the new scheme Stephen Gow, general manager of AA four silver star The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen and himself a product of the apprentice route into hospitality says, “The participating hotels are united in their vision to invest in young people in our sector and to nurture and inspire the next generation of talent. It’s important to show young adults that there is no requirement for a degree to enter the vibrant hospitality industry and this apprenticeship offers a clear, paid, route to gaining experience within the sector; giving practical experience across all hotel departments while gaining a recognised qualification and developing leadership skills. It’s a unique scheme which offers the hotels the chance to tailor their programmes to their properties and to the apprentice they hire but removes the practical difficulties of an apprenticeship such as the burden of training and administration. It’s specific and relevant.
“I, like several of the hoteliers in the programme, started my career as a hospitality apprentice and have worked across the UK and overseas including in Hawaii. Whilst we hope that our apprentices will remain for some time working in the north east, we know we’re equipping them for a global career with motivating potential career opportunities.”
Jennifer Craw, ONE Chief Executive, said: “Last year, we led a series of consultation events on future Renaissance future projects across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The need to nurture and attract future leaders in tourism and showcase our regional strengths in food, drink and heritage came out strongly and I am delighted that just 12 months later, we are launching this new apprenticeship scheme in partnership with SDS and some of our flagship hotels.
“This programme is employer driven and has been developed with a fresh approach, built around the unique demands of our area. A pipeline of the right, skilled and qualified people are key to us delivering the authentic hospitality experiences which our visitors demand, which in turn will help shape and develop our visitor economy.”
Participating hotels include The Fife Arms in Braemar, described by The Financial Times as ‘Scotland’s hottest hotel’. An imaginatively restored historic coaching inn, the 46-bedroom hotel sits within the Cairngorms National Park. Jurys Inn Aberdeen Airport offers an apprentice the opportunity to be based at their busy airport hotel but also visiting and working with the teams at Jurys Inn Union Square and sister hotel Leonardo. Meldrum House winner of a Scottish Thistle award for Scotland’s Most Hospitable Hotel is a four-star hotel set in 240 acres with its own golf course on the outskirts of Oldmeldrum.
Gustavo Rangel (19), currently working towards SVQs as he works at The Chester Hotel says, “An apprenticeship is an excellent way to start a career in hospitality. I’d encourage anyone with an interest in a vibrant, fast moving sector to consider earning while they learn on this apprenticeship.”