New World Hospitality Apprenticeships | Q&A
August 7th, 2019
This week is Hospitality Apprenticeship Week! At NWTC we strongly believe in the importance of people and ensuring that we give them the tools they need to develop themselves both personally and professionally.
With the spirit of the week resonating throughout New World we took the opportunity to speak to our L&D manager, Tara, and learn all about the different opportunities with our apprenticeships and learning opportunities...
1. Why do you think it’s so important to invest in our people?
With the current “War for Talent” especially in the Hospitality sector, it is essential that we recognise the talent we have within the organisation and ensure we give them the right tools to grow in their current and future roles. I believe that our people are our most important asset and in order to keep turnover to a minimum and retain the amazing people we have we must invest in their futures, this helps us to plan for business growth in the future and create a succession pipeline in all different areas of the business giving employees opportunities they may not have had before.
2. What do you want to achieve while in L&D for New World Trading?
My main priority currently is to instil a training culture at all levels of the business and use this to support business growth through collaborative training, social learning, apprenticeships and succession planning. My background began in Employee Relations as a HR Advisor and I felt as if I was constantly fighting fire, making me want to look at root causes for issues that were constantly cropping up and that’s how I fell into the Learning and Development role. I hope to be able to develop and deliver management training, keep expanding the Chef Academy, igniting a passion for food in chefs at every level of our business and use Apprenticeships to attract and retain the amazing talent that is out there. Chris Hill, CEO of NWTC said at our last Company Induction day that he wanted choosing a career in hospitality to be a “career choice your mum would be proud of” and that is exactly what I aim to deliver!
3. Why did you set up the Chef Academy?
The Chef Academy was set up to strengthen and develop some of the amazing talent we already have in our kitchens. Firstly, myself and James Scott, Executive Chef, focussed on developing training plans for all levels to ensure all chefs were trained to the correct standard, and so that new chefs that came into a NWTC Kitchen were clear of the progression opportunities and the expectations we had for them. We then decided to use the apprenticeship levy to further invest into our chefs by giving them the opportunity to complete a Level 2 Commis Chef Apprenticeship or a Level 3 Senior Food Production Chef Apprenticeship. Our aim was to begin to create progression pipelines for those Chefs who wanted to progress to management positions and were passionate about food and NWTC!
4. What are the aspirations for the Chef Academy?
To keep growing! In our first intake we had 4 chefs from the North West Area originally join onto the programme, with another chef join a little later on. These chefs have almost completed their apprenticeship and will be doing their end point assessments shortly, they have been an absolute credit to the business and the feedback we have had from Trafford College, has been fantastic. We held our second chef recruitment day at Sheffield College in July and opened the pool to all chefs across the estate, we had 12 chefs take part in the day so to triple the interest we had in just one year was just such a fantastic feeling. We have had another 2 chefs be assessed for the apprenticeship programme as well since this point, I hope that by September 2020 we can triple the interest again. Ideally by 2022 we will have a minimum of 2 apprentice chefs in every site across the UK!
We will also be expanding the Chef Academy by taking on Traineeships. Our first cohort of traineeships will be taken on in October in partnership with Trafford College, with the aim of recruiting 1 trainee for each North West site. Traineeships are for students undertaking a Level 2 NVQ in cooking and needing experience in a busy kitchen, our aim is that students that we take on will then progress onto the apprenticeship programme and be stars of the future! This is something I am really excited for as it is our first time bringing in external candidates and offering an Apprenticeship opportunity!
5. Do you have any more apprenticeship opportunities in the pipe line?
Yes! Our Apprenticeship opportunities don’t just start and stop with Chefs. In September, our very first Management Apprentice will begin her 4 year apprenticeship with Manchester Metropolitan University completing a Chartered Management Apprentice Degree. Alongside this, a four year plan has been devised to compliment the degree programme and take her to a General Manager position on completion of her degree. The programme is starting with one Apprentice, however, by September 2020 I am aiming to take a cohort of Five Management Apprentices across the UK. This will be recruited for externally and internally so keep your eyes peeled!
I am also aiming to expand our Head Office Apprenticeship programme. There are currently 4 Apprentices in HR, L&D and Property and I would like to expand this to IT, Marketing and Finance. I would like to build our Head Office growth through apprenticeships and offer amazing opportunities to work for a fantastic company and get a qualification at the same time.
6. What would you like any aspiring apprentices to know about the opportunities here at NWTC?
At NWTC the philosophy behind all our apprenticeship programmes is that we want to take time to invest and develop in you as our employee, we want you to be the best you can be and as our business expands we want you to become our leaders of the future. Apprenticeship opportunities will continue to grow and make a fantastic alternative to the traditional university route, we want to offer a career choice that will allow our employees to earn as they learn and make the best of themselves!