National Apprenticeship Week: Are apprenticeships the key to saving hospitality sector after COVID-19?

Hospitality has been one of the hardest hit sectors by coronavirus with 163% rise in restaurant job losses in 2020, damaging its appeal to potential future employees. Once it re-opens, the industry must act to address this loss of talent.

Apprenticeships offer the opportunity for the hospitality industry to recover, by both attracting and developing talented staff, helping it to secure future growth and recover post-COVID.

Jill Whittaker, managing director at HIT Training, the leading specialist training and apprenticeship provider for the UK’s Hospitality, Hotel and Catering industry, commented:

“The big thing about apprenticeships is they give a broad education. Apprentices are not stuck on a production line in a kitchen doing just one job – their experience is varied. It’s more convenient to talk about hospitality, the third-biggest sector in the UK, as if it’s just this raft of unskilled people who wander in, pull a pint and then go home. But, hospitality employers say they are forever having their really good staff poached by retail companies or other companies because of their skills, which is something the sector needs to address.

Apprenticeships provide the in-depth training needed for people to excel in the field and see hospitality as a sector which offers a career, not just a job. They can help bust the myth that careers in hospitality can be hard or unrewarding and position them as a positive career choice, boosting the potential for hospitality businesses to retain excellent staff.”