Apprenticeships are more flexible than you may realise
HIT Training has released a handy toolkit that makes it easier than ever for hospitality and catering businesses to make apprenticeships flex around their needs.
No hospitality or catering operation will have been unaffected by staffing issues – including problematic recruitment and retention – since the pandemic and Brexit massively impacted the sector. Lockdown and furlough put further strain on food and drink businesses, with 2021 seeing an unprecedented cultural shift in working attitudes that led to people across the UK leaving their jobs in record numbers.
HIT Training’s latest research, which reveals how apprenticeships could be instrumental in improving staff retention via upskilling existing team members and offering attractive training benefits for new recruits, shows that a staggering 95% of businesses are continuing to have difficulty retaining staff despite the pandemic’s restrictions lifting.
“Since the pandemic began, staff shortages have been rife across a wide range of sectors, culminating in the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021,” says Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training. “While most hospitality businesses see the value in training when it comes to attracting and retaining staff, too many believe they don’t have the time to invest in this. But those continuing to struggle with staff shortages can’t afford not to.”
For those operators concerned about this investment of time and resources into apprenticeships, there’s a new solution from HIT Training. It takes the form of a new downloadable toolkit called See the Opportunity, created especially for the sector, that answers some common questions companies often have when it comes to navigating the right route to training. After all, every business’ needs and resources are different.
Thankfully, apprenticeships are more flexible than many assume them to be. HIT Training’s study showed that most hospitality businesses are interested in flexible training options, with almost two-thirds of employers saying they would consider front-loaded training to help speed-up the process. Almost 70% of employees in hospitality would be more willing to start an apprenticeship or training course if they could condense learning into a shorter period.
There are several flexible methods available to employers, which are explained in HIT’s new toolkit. Some offer front-loaded training off-the-job before they begin their official responsibilities, while others allow employers to adjust the length of an apprenticeship (within the legal limits) depending on existing skills. Flexible pathways to training allow companies to offer learning in a non-linear way and access the benefits of apprenticeships regardless of employment model and contract type.
Invest in people
When you consider that many sector employees are revaluating what they want from a career and with 90% of hospitality employees more likely to stay in a role longer if their employer invested in training from the outset, employers must act now to turn the tide on staff shortages.
Having open and honest conversations with employees about which areas they are interested in learning more about could prove invaluable in improving retention across the board. Giving all team members across every department the opportunity to broaden their knowledge within the company will no doubt promote inclusivity and boost their loyalty.
Which flexible apprenticeship route will best suit your people? Find out by downloading HIT Training’s toolkit today.