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How to solve your staffing problems with apprenticeships

Posted on 18 May, 2022


Following the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 – when employees around the UK left their jobs in record numbers – new research from HIT Training has revealed that almost two-thirds (62.5%) of hospitality businesses say they’ve struggled to retain staff over the past two years.

Yet while almost 90% of hospitality firms believe that further training investment would help with recruitment and retention, 62.5% are put off by the risk that an employee would leave after completing their training.

The pulling power of apprenticeships

Though managers are worried about post-training staff retention, 90% of hospitality employees said they would, in fact, be more likely to stay in a role if their employer invested in their training from the outset.

Three-quarters of all hospitality managers surveyed are concerned about the time it takes to upskill new members of staff at junior level in particular. This was due to factors such as the impact this would have on customer service and extra pressure on other members of the team.

Flexible training options

The 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.

Unlock skills and potential

“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,” says Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training. “But those continuing to struggle with staff shortages can’t afford not to.

“As well as playing a role in attracting and retaining valuable team members, apprenticeships have always been one of the best ways to unlock skills quickly and fast-track staff into positions where they can make a real impact.

“New flexible training models under consideration by the Government are set to make this process even quicker. For example, front-loaded training will be invaluable in helping apprentices to hit the ground running and operate efficiently for their employers from the very beginning.”

A new toolkit, made for hospitality

To maximise the benefits businesses can reap from the flexible training options available, HIT Training has released a toolkit answering common questions businesses may have about apprenticeships. The Q&A toolkit is also full of advice for operators desperate to solve their staffing issues by creating more opportunities to upskill their workforce.

To download the toolkit visit our resources page.


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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With a strong local focus, HIT Training offers coverage throughout the nation. Our skilled trainers and training consultants are based in every county of England.

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