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The Beach Hotel - Minehead, Somerset

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Minehead in Somerset is home to The Beach Hotel, a luxury hotel and fine dining restaurant with stunning views across Exmoor and the Bristol Channel. The iconic hotel was purchased by YMCA Somerset Coast and was seen as an opportunity to provide career prospects for young people in the local community through apprenticeships and training. 

The Beach Hotel describes itself as “committed to youth”. By offering apprenticeships to develop the talent in the kitchens, front of house and other services they are allowing the youth in the community to shine. Many of the apprentices have gone on to become full time members of staff and a lot of them have been there since its opening in November 2013. 

Front of House Apprentices at The Beach Hotel

Charlie Kennedy, Guest Services Manager said, “The Beach demonstrates you can run a hotel that employs people without the normal levels of experience, and train them to be fantastic. More businesses should give the same chances to young people starting out. We want to give our apprentices a career path and work experience to enable them to go on to a full time job within hospitality.” 

Of the 16 members of staff at the hotel, 11 are apprentices. The team study and learn whilst they are working so they are learning on the job. “Working with HIT Training is perfect because their Trainer Assessors come to the work place to train and assess the staff,” commented Charlie. “This is a big bonus – rather than losing everybody on one set day for them to go to college.” 

The apprentices are recruited through the YMCA, social media and the hotel website. Charlie enjoys seeing the development of the apprentices as they progress through their training. “Some of them start at The Beach with no job skills at all, let alone people skills. Through training they learn how to have a polite, professional attitude towards our guests and understand the importance of keeping them happy. Some of our ex-apprentices have now gone on to work in Michelin star restaurants and we have others who have gained full time employment in hospitality roles elsewhere.” 

Angela Austin, HIT Trainer Assessor for the Bristol and Somerset regions said, “Guests walk through the door of The Beach Hotel and would never notice that it’s run by the YMCA and that most of the staff are apprentices. They run each role within the hotel to a fantastic standard. It is really inspiring to work with the young people and see them develop and progress. The reviews, thank you cards and letters from customers vouch for how far they have come.”

The Beach was recently featured on the local BBC news to showcase the good work the hotel is doing for the youth in the community. Click here to watch the news clip.


It was great speaking to our account manager, Catherine, this afternoon and great to hear that HIT are being so supportive with our apprentices, I found the call very positive in a time of crisis, so thank you.

The Learner’s leaflet is great and being sent out to Apprentices and Line Managers following our communication last week providing a great follow up.

Jonathan Foot - Head of Apprenticeships, Compass Group

McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

HIT Training has provided such an incredible support to us during lockdown, with regular webinar invitations, videocalls and engagement solutions. Our business focus shifted to learning and development and we managed to enrol 3 times more apprentices on training programmes than before!

Anastasia Talatzidou -L&D Manager, Gaucho


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