15 Nov 2023
The benefits of apprenticeships in catering and hospitality sector.
Recruitment, selection and retention of talent in the hospitality sector has been met with a wave of unpredictable changes in recent years.
With the entrance of Generation Z into the workforce, and the pandemic forcing long standing employees to leave in search of greater security, employers in the sector are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, and building a reliable workforce.
Skills shortages seem to present a problem too. As we know, the younger generations are innately drawn to digital and tech roles, leaving their older counterparts to get on with the more traditional roles.
But how much truth is there in that?
According to research, Gen Z craves face to face connection while learning and at work. The advent of remote learning isn't in fact reflective of their wants and needs.
They also crave stability, so with apprenticeships and training programmes, a perfect contender for the industry, it might make sense to prioritize these as a part of your recruitment strategy.
Training schemes can largely assist in the recovery of the industry following the pandemic, and the subsequent staff shortages. Providing on-the-job, focused, and relevant training can help to address the employment gap while meeting the demand for staff. By using apprenticeships as an avenue for fostering talent, businesses can attract motivated employees but also combat high employee turnover, resulting in more loyal and long-term team members.
The catering and hospitality sector provides a wealth of knowledge, learning opportunities and skills to all of those who choose to pursue a career here. Plus, it’s an incredibly vibrant, diverse industry presenting candidates with the opportunity to enjoy working closely with people and the public. So combating the challenge of staff shortages and inexperienced staff for employers is something that can be addressed through apprenticeships.
Specialisms and career paths include events management, butchery, chef training, hotel management and kitchen assistant roles.
A catering hospitality apprenticeship usually lasts between 12-18 months and involves a hands-on approach, working and learning experience combined with gaining valuable qualifications within the chosen field.
An ‘earn-while-you-learn’ initiative is attractive to young people who might not be set on the typical University path or climbing the corporate ladder.
We’re in the midst of a skills shortage and with trouble attracting and retaining talent in the younger generations, there needs to be an evaluation of the typical recruitment and training model.
Attracting Gen Z
So you need fresh, young, moldable talent. You want to attract, retain and nurture a new generation of digital natives with big ideas and values. Gen Z are a notoriously complex generation, but one thing we can be sure of is their passion - and with that, their passion for food. The food and hospitality industry presents ample opportunities for them to pursue and explore those passions.
Perhaps the biggest worry is that Gen Z are so digitally literate, they can make a living from the comfort of their own home using nothing but a computer. But despite their relationship with tech, Gen Z on the whole, crave connection, and want to belong to a number of different groups.
An apprenticeship involves face-to-face interaction like learning new skills in the flesh, with hands-on experience, connecting with their mentors and teachers in physical reality rather than remote and online learning. It also presents the opportunity to integrate with other generations and groups (outside of regular friendship groups), which is enriching for Gen Z.
It’s also been reported that 57% of Gen Z employees want to receive feedback several times a week – or more. Gen Z are extremely motivated to learn. Training programmes are an incredibly effective way of attracting and retaining younger staff. Apprenticeships and trainees could well be a worthwhile route for consideration to answer the skills shortage challenge too.
Big business gains
Investing in apprenticeships can also bring gains to the business’ bottom line.
According to Big Hospitality, harnessing apprenticeships in the hospitality industry could deliver an average positive net gain of £5895 per year to their employers. UK restaurants could gain an additional £1.4 billion in revenue employing apprenticeships according to a CEBR report.
So, this could be an excellent avenue for hospitality and catering employers, enabling the future of the business to become more stable and profitable. Having long term employees as a result of these training programmes saves a business thousands of pounds in unemployment costs, recruitment and administration tasks, advertising and onboarding and training new employees. Apprenticeships are a worthwhile investment for those in the hospitality and catering industry looking to stabilise turnover and their employee retention.
The recruitment gap
Training programmes are not limited to the younger generations and are often pursued by more mature talent. Perhaps those looking to re-enter the workforce after taking time out to care for a young family, or those who are now considering a different career path. Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn while you learn, so are a great option for mature students with financial responsibilities anddependents.
And there has been a significant rise in uptake in apprenticeships for the hospitality sector, with over 70% completing their apprenticeship.
Overall, there is a positive outlook for training schemes in the sector as an avenue for closing the recruitment gap and addressing talent shortages.
Investing the time and effort into gaining a sector-specific qualification means that talent coming into your business through apprenticeship and training programmes is more likely to demonstrate loyalty and commitment, forming a long-term relationship with the business and its leadership. This can only have a positive impact on the future of the business and how we manage and source our talent.
At Classeq, we are passionate about the growth and success of the hospitality sector. That’s why we are committed to providing you with content that explores every juncture of the hospitality journey from the distribution of catering equipment right through to the patron’s plate.
If there is a topic you’d like us to explore further, do let us know. Otherwise, view our full content library here, or speak to a member of the team today . Whether it’s a new machine you need, or technical support, our team is ready to assist.
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