Hospitality Apprenticeships Week is all about celebrating apprenticeships and the stories of apprentices in the hospitality sector.
In Hospitality Apprenticeships Week 2021, Inn Cornwall Limited, an employer that works closely with BIIAB Centre Truro and Penwith College, shared success stories about some of their current and former apprentices, showcasing the many diverse career pathways available in this exciting sector and how apprenticeships can help learners to progress.
Inn Cornwall is a hospitality business based in Cornwall, comprising three pubs: the Victoria Inn in Threemilestone, the Victoria Inn in Roche, and the Norway Inn in Truro. Thanks to good relationships with local colleges such as Truro and Penwith, Inn Cornwall has been using apprenticeships for over 10 years, and is a former Cornwall Apprenticeships Employer of the Year, plus a former BII National Innovation and Training Award winner.
Their apprentices have benefitted from BIIAB apprenticeships and end-point assessments, which have enabled them to make a successful start to their careers in hospitality.
Read on to hear about the experiences of four current and former apprentices at Inn Cornwall.
How has the apprenticeship impacted your life opportunities? What difference has this made to you?
Will Dunstan, current Level 2 Commis Chef Apprentice: “Before discussing the apprenticeship, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my career. But, having really enjoyed working in hospitality for two years, I had a chat with my line manager and the opportunity to progress further in this sector was opened to me.
“I enjoy pushing myself and learning new things, so the apprenticeship has allowed me to set a goal of what I want to achieve. For example, I’ve already planned on carrying out the Level 3 Chef De Partie course once I have completed the Level 2.”
Darren Dunstan, former Level 3 Chef de Partie Apprentice: “Doing an apprenticeship has meant I can earn as I learn. This has led to me being able to learn to drive, buy a car, and now I’m even in a position to buy my first house.”
Steven Hawke, former Level 4 Hospitality Management Apprentice: “It’s been fantastic. Learning new skills from lecturers as well as other apprentices in my group. It has made me learn to manage and not do everything myself.”
Aimee Kent, former Level 2 Hospitality (Front of House) Apprentice: “The apprenticeship has changed my life in such a positive way and has given me the opportunity to have a career and work my way up at a young age.”
How did you find the end-point assessment process?
Darren: “I found the end point assessment to be a very smooth-sailing process. Being split up into four separate components, it gives you time to plan and get yourself ready for the next stage.
My favourite and most enjoyable stage was the two-hour culinary challenge. This component requires you to plan and design a three-course menu. Then prep, cook and produce the dishes in a two-hour timed assessment.”
Steven: “Very good. We worked our way up to it throughout the year so I knew what to prepare for and had plenty of time.”
Aimee: “I found it different as I completed it through lockdown, but the assessors and lecturers made it such an easy and comfortable process.”
What are your plans now that you have achieved your apprenticeship?
Darren: “Now that I have finished my apprenticeship, I have taken the role of sous chef in the kitchen where my journey began, doing work experience while at school. I now manage a team of chefs, which includes two level 2 apprentice chefs that I train and help guide through their apprenticeships.”
Steven: “I want to continue in hospitality management and hopefully run my own place soon.”
Aimee: “I’m currently undergoing my Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor Apprenticeship and will hopefully progress on to the Level 4 in Management.”
Speaking about his experience of employing apprentices, Mark Holden, Director of Inn Cornwall Limited, said: “We’ve been using apprenticeships for around 10 years now and they are an essential part of who we are as a company.
“We currently have 11 team members working full time, and we are using an apprenticeship programme via our local colleges to increase their knowledge, confidence and skill set. Many of those team members are existing members that are upskilling.
“People don’t necessarily associate pubs with having career path options, but the skill set behind the schemes is so diverse. Apprenticeship schemes can assist in many different areas of business such as accounting, marketing, HR and general maintenance etc.
“We found apprenticeships help with retention across our company. It also provides us with a great long-term progression plan, which is appealing for when we are recruiting.
“I love seeing our apprentices’ confidence levels grow from day to day and hearing what they’ve been learning about after each day at college.”
If you would be interested in using apprenticeships to develop your team, BIIAB can help you with this. We currently offer 18 end-point assessments for standards such as the Level 2 Commis Chef, Level 3 Chef de Partie and Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor. You can find out more here and speak to our friendly team, who will be happy to discuss the options with you and answer any questions you may have.