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Posted on 17 February, 2020

  • Deliveroo today warns a national chef shortage in the restaurant sector threatens growth and could harm UK high streets
  • Deliveroo calls on government to act and urgently free up large employers to transfer more of their apprenticeship levy down the supply chain
  • The firm will invest up to £100,000k of its own apprenticeship levy into training new chefs
  • Today it launches 4,000 online training courses for all 35,000 restaurant partners to help upskill their employees across the UK - saving restaurant partners thousands of pounds in training fees each year

Deliveroo today warned a shortage of trained chefs could arrest growth in the UK restaurant sector and harm British high streets as it unveils a major new training package for chefs and all 35,000 of the company’s restaurant partners and staff across the UK.

New research commissioned by Deliveroo shows:

  • 8 in 10 of Deliveroo’s restaurant partners are struggling to hire new chefs, saying it is ‘moderately’ or ‘very difficult’ to recruit new chefs.
  • More than half of restaurant partners (54%) cite not finding enough suitably qualified applicants as the main difficulty and barrier to hiring new chefs.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 of Deliveroo’s restaurant partners say it is ‘moderately’ or ‘very difficult’ to recruit front-of-house and kitchen staff.

Deliveroo’s new chef apprenticeships

Deliveroo has responded to the concern of their restaurant partners by launching a new chef apprenticeship scheme funded by part of the company’s apprenticeship levy. This will invest £100,000 per year to train up to 20 chefs a year.

The new scheme will be run in partnership with HIT Training, the leading apprenticeship provider for the UK’s hospitality and catering industry in the UK. HIT Training will work with Deliveroo’s restaurant partners and offer access to its award winning national chef academy.

To address the sector-wide skills shortage of trained chefs, both Deliveroo and HIT Training are calling on the Government to lift the restriction on apprenticeship levy transfers and allow large employers the power to contribute as much as they choose down their supply chain.

Large employers such as Deliveroo are currently restricted by a 25% cap on the amount of unspent apprenticeship levy which can be transferred to businesses in their supply chains who would otherwise have to pay for an apprenticeship via the government co-investment model. For Deliveroo, this amounts to nearly half a million pounds over five years for small restaurants.

If Deliveroo were able to transfer up to 50% of the levy, for example, this sum could amount to a million pounds of investment directly to support a new generation of chefs and the restaurant sector.

New free online learning courses for restaurants

Deliveroo has also launched 4,000 market-leading, online training courses to its 35,000 restaurant partners and their staff. Deliveroo is the first food delivery company to offer training of this kind, alongside a package of lifestyle savings and well-being plans.

The high-quality online courses are:

  • Provided in partnership with the employer engagement platform Wrkit, with 92% offered completely free of charge
  • Provided through a range of global universities and leading corporate institutions, including Yale University, Open University and Accenture
  • The 4,000 online courses cover different topics from hospitality to events to life sciences
  • The most in-demand courses for Deliveroo’s restaurant partners are food health and safety, business management and hotel and catering training.

Rohan Pradhan, Chief Operating Officer, Deliveroo, said:

“Deliveroo is proud to work closely with 35,000 restaurant partners across the UK, who produce amazing food. We wanted to respond to their concerns and support their skills training to develop more young chefs.

“We speak to restaurants across the country every day and want to help them tackle the challenges they face. That is why Deliveroo is investing in new chef apprenticeships and rolling-out thousands of online training courses for all our restaurant partners and their staff.

“Our priority is to help our restaurant partners hire, train and upskill restaurants' workforces and develop a new generation of culinary talent. We’re always looking for new ways to help our restaurant partners grow their businesses and, ultimately, bring more amazing food to even more customers.”

Jill Whittaker, Managing Director, HIT Training, said:

“Hospitality is one of the most vibrant and exciting sectors to work in, yet there isn’t a business within the industry that’s not affected by staff shortages.

“We are delighted that Deliveroo is supporting our Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign. The aim of the campaign is to bring the industry together and leverage its combined resources to support businesses of all shapes and sizes across the sector.”

Click here for more information on HIT Training’s Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign or to pledge a percentage of your Apprenticeship Levy fund to the sector, please visit:


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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