Hilton is growing its apprenticeship scheme by almost 30 per cent in 2020, with 274 apprentices currently, a further 76 apprentice roles will be available over the next 12 months by the hotel giant.
In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 3rd February, Hilton will be hosting an awards ceremony to mark the achievements of young talent.
Nominated for the Apprentice of the Year Award is 17-year-old Ben Foster from Hilton Northampton. Ben has impressed his team with his exceptional communication skills and motivation and has already been promoted to Front of House Team Leader while still training on the apprenticeship programme.
Speaking of his experience with Hilton Foster told us: “I was the only person in my whole year who applied for an apprenticeship, everyone went on to further education. During my time at Hilton I’ve gained a huge amount of confidence and I’d love to continue working and growing my career at the company. Lots of people have worked in different parts of the business overseas so I’m looking forward to future opportunities.”
Another Hilton apprentice, Geor-Dan Dyer, 24, started at Hilton Birmingham Metropole through the company’s partnership with Foxes Academy, a training organisation who help young people with learning difficulties build a career in hospitality. Geor-Dan has excelled working as part of the busy kitchen team and is responsible for preparing starters and canapes at Hilton Birmingham Metropole, the largest hotel outside of London. Geor-Dan will be joining the apprenticeship scheme in February.
Dyer is enthusiastic and said of her experience: “I joined the Hilton team as work experience and have since moved to a full-time role. I’m excited to join the apprenticeship scheme and further my training in a job I love. I really enjoy learning new things and love working in a fast-paced kitchen environment. My colleagues say my strengths are my sense of taste and seasoning, as well as timekeeping and attention to detail.”
Lily, 16, from Sidcup in South East London, finished school in July and just two months later started at DoubleTree by Hilton Tower Bridge, on the hospitality giant’s industry-leading apprenticeship scheme.
She said: “Hospitality is definitely where I want to build a career – I don’t see it as just a job. I’m currently working breakfast shifts and also training as a hostess and learning administrative and organisational skills, so no two days are the same. My opinion is already really valued.”
Steve Cassidy, SVP and Managing Director UK & I, said: “With nearly 300 apprentices in our operations across the country I’m proud that we are helping to develop new Hilton talent through our hugely successful apprenticeship scheme. Our apprentices deliver exceptional experiences to guests every day and make a huge contribution to our business.”
Hilton’s programme offers those wanting a career in hospitality on-the-job training from professionally qualified experts, onsite mentors, development workshops and master classes. In 2019 Hilton was named as one of the top three best places to work in the UK, by Great Place to Work. Apprentices training at Hilton can choose to focus on one of six strands: professional cookery, front desk, food and beverage service, multi-skilled hospitality service, exercise and fitness and sales.
H&C News congratulate Hilton on taking advantage of the opportunities of employing apprentices, which we see as the number one long term solution to the people and skills shortages across the UK hospitality industry.
Publishing this news on ‘Brexit Day’ seems in a way ironic as the Government’s immigration policy post Brexit, ending the free movement of people, will undoubtedly lead to increased people and skills shortages in hospitality.
The solution for the industry is challenging to say the least. From all the possible pools of people available the only one large enough and capable of providing a long term solution is young people entering the workplace for the first time. Young people who are not looking to go to university and who are looking to enter the workplace.
Apprenticeships offer young people a myriad of choices and opportunities and among them are the many offered by the hospitality industry.
So, undoubtedly more hospitality employers need to understand the opportunity, albeit an unenforced Hobson’s choice. Not only do more hospitality employers need to understand the opportunity they need to grasp it.
Through a series of articles throughout 2020, H&C News will be examining the role of the apprentice in the hospitality industry. The articles will help build to a roundtable event that will be held at Coworth Park, where hoteliers from across the UK will gather to discuss and debate how to further integrate apprenticeships in their businesses.
We are therefore delighted to start the series today just ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, and would like to thank Hilton for this ‘case study’ in growing the UK hospitality talent pool through increasing apprenticeships in 2020.
We will be announcing our Hospitality Apprentice 2020 sponsor partner this coming Monday at the start of National Apprenticeship Week.