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Protecting the future of the sector: hospitality businesses pledge to fund apprenticeships outside their organisation

Posted on 3 May, 2019

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De Vere Hotels and Bidfood are among the hospitality businesses signed up to transfer a proportion of their Apprenticeship Levy to fund at least one apprenticeship outside of their company. 

This comes as recent figures reveal there is £3bn of unspent Levy funding in the UK  and less than half of hospitality businesses have used their Apprenticeship Levy . As a result, organisations from across the industry are seizing the opportunity to maximise this capital to tackle the skills shortage and protect the future of the sector. In turn, ensuring this vital funding remains within hospitality and is used to support the industry as a whole. 

Championing this revolutionary movement is HIT Training, which launched the pledge initiative – Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality – to bring the industry together to advocate the varied career opportunities available and implement practical solutions to lessen the skills shortage.

The campaign is gaining traction within the industry, with a number of sector-leading companies including UKHospitality, the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) and The Springboard Charity on board.

Tim Adams, Director of Marketing & Corp Sales at Bidfood, comments on why one of the largest food wholesalers in the UK is supporting the initiative and pledging a proportion of its Apprenticeship Levy to Springboard: “We’re delighted to be supporting Springboard’s training and development initiatives by pledging a proportion of our Apprenticeship Levy fund to the charity. Additional capital can make such a significant difference to training capabilities. In fact, the 10% of our Levy pot being transferred is enabling 15 of Springboard’s employees (41% of its workforce) to enrol on a range of apprenticeships, from enhancing the skills of line managers, to supporting business development and programme delivery managers across the organisation.

“Bidfood and Springboard have a longstanding relationship, and both share an ambition to successfully promote the foodservice and hospitality industry as a great place to work. The role training plays in achieving this is invaluable, not only by boosting the industry with greater skills, but by making it a more attractive career option by offering rich and meaningful development opportunities.”

HIT Training’s campaign launches as new research reveals that 65% of Levy-paying hospitality businesses are currently unaware they can transfer 25% of their funds to SMEs or charities in the sector.

Speaking about the campaign, Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training, said: “Hospitality is one of the most vibrant and exciting sectors to work in, yet we continue to face multiple challenges when it comes to dispelling the outdated and negative perceptions of what a career in the industry entails. The year ahead is going to be a challenging one for everyone, so we need to do all that we can to protect our industry and provide aspirational career opportunities to the next generation of hospitality stars. 

“That’s why we’ve launched the Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign. We want to bring the industry together to utilise its combined resources and support businesses of all shapes and sizes to provide high-quality development opportunities through apprenticeship programmes. Together, we have the power to make real change and protect the future of our industry.”

To assist Levy-paying businesses, HIT Training has created a pledge portal where companies can commit their support to transfer a percentage of their Levy fund or download more information on how the Levy transfer process works. The expert team at HIT Training can also help form a partnership with an SME and oversee the process of taking both parties through the Levy transfer process, if required.

Click here for more information on the Don’t Waste: The Future of Hospitality campaign

OR to pledge a percentage of your Apprenticeship Levy fund to the sector, please visit: hittraining.co.uk/pledge-support


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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