The Hospitality Guild has rolled out a campaign designed to boost awareness among employers and young people of the career development opportunities offered by apprenticeships.
In an attempt to land work placements for up to 20,000 individuals in hotels, pubs, and restaurants across the UK, the Act NOW! initiative has drawn up five steps that business leaders should be taking when hiring apprentices.
It stated managers should use pre-employment training designed specifically for the hospitality industry or employ someone has already completed the programme, while they must also work alongside an apprenticeship training association.
The campaign further advised becoming a registered Good Employer on the industry's careers guidance website UKSP and offering young people the chance to progress within the company by organising a higher apprenticeship in hospitality management or giving existing employees new roles. It also said using innovative tools for the delivery of apprenticeships is important, which could include using online services offered by an e-learning provider.
Virtual College is one facility they may want to turn to, as the West Yorkshire-based firm's e-Academy is designed to cut business' costs of recruitment and delivery, free up assessor time and reduce the expensive administration fees that are often met when taking on an apprentice.
Suzy Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild, explained the scheme is looking to benefit businesses of all sizes and she wants all firms to take part, even smaller companies that have never employed an apprentice before.
"We want to see more businesses and industry organisations Act NOW! on apprenticeships and pre-employment training, as there are a huge number of benefits - both for the business and for the learner. With apprenticeships offering these kinds of benefits and government funding available for a lot of businesses to cover training costs, apprenticeships are a great way to go," she added.
According to the Hospitality Guild, apprenticeships give learners the chance to make money as they learn and gain an accredited qualification for their hard work. It said organisations also benefit from taking on apprentices, as they can boost productivity and be trained up to the firm's standards.