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Training the leaders of the future - Hand Picked Hotels launches new apprenticeship academy

Posted on 12 November, 2018

Hand Picked Hotels, a unique collection of 20 privately-owned country house hotels and spa retreats across the UK and the Channel Islands, has launched a dedicated apprenticeship academy aimed at providing a development programme for the leaders of the future. 

The academy, which has been curated in partnership with HIT Training, provides those working at Hand Picked Hotels with the tools, expertise and training to progress in their career towards deputy level positions. 

29 apprentices across Hand Picked Hotels’ portfolio are enrolled on the Leaders of the Future Academy to complete the Level Three Supervisory Management Apprenticeship. As part of their programme, they will participate in seven interactive workshops which cover topics such as building relationships & communication, personal effectiveness, problem solving & decision making, and operational & project management, as well as one-to-one sessions with their HIT trainer and individual projects. 

The curriculum is bespoke to Hand Picked Hotels’ business needs, as well as the requirements and challenges of working in a supervisory position, and includes different training methods and learning styles to provide flexibility to the learners and on-the-job training.    

With a business philosophy built on developing its people and promoting from within, Hand Picked Hotels has opened the academy up to all areas of the business and has enrolled apprentices from the HR, maintenance, front of house and kitchen departments. Plans are also being put in place to launch an academy for a Level Five Operations / Departmental Manager Apprenticeship and a mentoring programme to provide the next level in the apprentices’ career progression. 

Speaking about the launch of the Academy, Deborah Seymour, Director of Human Resources at Hand Picked Hotels, said: “We’ve been working with HIT Training for a number of years to offer apprenticeships across our business, including a bespoke chef academy. We were conscious that we needed to strengthen our development pipeline for the future and provide further progression opportunities for our team members. The aim of the Leaders of the Future Academy is to provide those who are working in a supervisory role with the opportunity to progress their careers in the hospitality industry through a structured training programme. 

“Our chef academy for level two apprentices has been so successful that we wanted to replicate this interactive and flexible style of working for the more operational roles in the business. Working with HIT Training, we’ve developed a programme that is unique to our business and uses our Apprenticeship Levy funding to achieve the maximum business results and highest quality training for our team.”

Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training, added: “Hand Picked Hotels is a best in class example of the opportunities training and development programmes like apprenticeships can provide for both businesses and employees alike. By implementing tailored programmes that can accommodate different job levels and departments across the business, employers will not only experience a more motivated, skilled and satisfied team but they will also make a significant impact in staff retention and stand out as an aspirational place to work, due to the development opportunities available.”

Click here to view all the apprenticeship programmes HIT has to offer.



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

We chose HIT as our training provider not only because of their specialist knowledge of the hospitality industry, but also because of their genuine passion for our brand and their understanding of our company culture. We believe that they can deliver our training to a very high standard whilst passing on our company ethos and values. Their attention to detail is second to none.

Charlotte Thoms, Talent Manager, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

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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