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Center Parcs Celebrates Apprentice Trailblazers

Posted on 26 July, 2019


Center Parcs, the home of family short breaks, celebrated its first ever apprenticeship graduation this month, which saw 92% of the graduates achieve a distinction or merit.

36 apprentices graduated at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest with a Level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship, alongside an Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Level 3 Diploma in Management.

With high occupancy rates and a passion for wowing its guests, Center Parcs continually invests in the development of its workforce to ensure high standards are met across its villages. As such, Center Parcs has been working with HIT Training since 2017 to run the Level 3 Team Leader Apprenticeship standard – one of the first in the country since the new standards came in.

Since the introduction of the apprenticeship programme, Center Parcs has seen a 20% shift in either job promotions or transfers amongst the apprentices.

Speaking about the event, Tracey Anderson, Performance and Development Manager at Center Parcs, said: “It was amazing to see our first cohort of apprentices graduate. We are so proud to be growing our own talent, and the results of this apprenticeship course speak for themselves. We now have 36 incredible individuals working across the business who can inspire and tutor others with what they have learnt after 18 months of tailor-made training.

“There was a wonderful collaborative feel to the day, as the graduation ceremony not only celebrated the teamwork that took place between the apprentices themselves, but also the relationship between Center Parcs and HIT, which has gone from strength-to-strength.”

Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at HIT Training, said: “It is fantastic to celebrate the successes of this group of apprentices. We have really enjoyed working collectively with the Center Parcs team from recruitment all the way through to graduation, to produce the next generation of managers. We are committed to delivering inspirational training across the hospitality sector and I am excited to announce that the partnership with Center Parcs will continue in 2020, with at least 150 apprentices being in place across the business.”

During the graduation ceremony, the apprentices heard from Center Parcs’ Chief Financial Officer, Colin McKinlay, who shared advice on the importance of learning and development. Center Parcs Sherwood Forest’s General Manager, Lisa Broome, also took to the stage to present the Level Three Apprentice Award, which was awarded to the Center Parcs Elveden Forest Cohort. Self-nominated awards were also made to one apprentice from each Center Parcs Cohort.

The day ended with lunch and a toast to the apprentices, giving the chance for them to sit back, relax and receive the excellent service from Center Parcs, something they normally provide to others.


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

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey


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