Yorebridge House has developed a suite of apprenticeships at every level to sustain the training needs of the team and benefit the business.
Yorebridge House is a 5 Star, 3 AA Rosette boutique hotel in the heart of Wensleydale in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Dedicated to sharing a passion for luxury and fine dining, the team prides itself on providing a personal and professional service from the moment guests arrive.
General Manager Sophie Shotton has been with the hotel for ten years and initiated a partnership with leading hospitality training provider HIT Training to help attract apprentices to the area and encourage more people to learn valuable skills through on-the-job training.
Through this partnership, Yorebridge House has implemented a suite of apprenticeships ranging from L2 Hospitality Team Member, L3 Hospitality Supervisor, L3 Chef de Partie, L4 Hospitality Manager, L5 Operations Manager and L7 Senior Leader (MBA equivalent).
Yorebridge House is a 5 Star, 3 AA Rosette boutique hotel in the heart of Wensleydale in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
Sophie said: “Recruitment is always challenging due to our rural location and it was only when we saw local authority advertisements inviting businesses to apply for grants that we thought of introducing apprenticeships. At first we thought we wouldn’t be eligible for a grant but our application was successful and we were able to fund our first apprenticeship cohort, including myself. Ten years on, we haven’t looked back.
“We chose HIT because all the training consultants and assessors come from hospitality backgrounds which gives them a unique insight into operational challenges our apprentices might face and give sound advice to help.”
The apprenticeship programme at Yorebridge House is now firmly embedded in the business’s learning and development strategy. They currently have five apprentices on programme covering front to back-of-house and a L7 Senior Leader which Sophie is undertaking alongside her managerial role.
“Apprenticeships play a pivotal part in attracting local, young people to roles which they may not have considered as long term career prospects before,” said Sophie. “A lot of our recruits also come from outside the area in search of new opportunities to learn.
“With training programmes lasting at least 12 months, it has, without a doubt, helped secure team members for at least the duration of their course. In many cases apprentices have stayed on after this and taken on further training to progress within the company.
“We have even purchased a staff house where apprentices live which has proven instrumental in keeping people on board, especially with the current cost of living crisis. It is always full!”
Training opportunities have also helped apprentices view the business from a different perspective.
“As part of their training, apprentices research and evaluate areas of the business which may not have been relevant if they were not enrolled on the apprenticeship – and this has helped drive business strategies. For example, one of our apprentices has been looking at ways to upsell tea and coffee. Another has been researching different costings of luxury toiletries as part of a work-based project.
“Being able to specialise in areas relevant to their job roles as well as develop all-round hospitality skills and knowledge is invaluable to us as a business. Apprentices also study health and safety topics as well as great customer service and this has definitely benefited our business in terms of year on year repeat custom.
“We take the view that continual investment in staff and encouraging a healthy work/life balance will eventually rid the industry of negative stereotypes associated with hospitality such as long hours and lack of career progression. Continuous learning is key to building careers and all our apprentices are given the opportunity to progress to the next level on completion. Although we like to keep our apprentices, we also want them to gain the knowledge and skills they need to progress in their careers outside of our business – and this is something we are passionate about.”