Students Anthony Jeyes and Namakau Nkhosi have found the perfect career recipe after landing Apprenticeships at a luxury hotel that is hoping to change the reputation of the hospitality profession.
The teenagers, who have just completed the Level 3 Hospitality, Supervision and Leadership course at New College Stamford, are beginning a year-long Apprenticeship at The William Cecil Hotel, St Martins, Stamford.
They have both opted for a career as front of house, so will be trained in all aspects of hospitality from working at corporate events and weddings, to managing the bar and waiting on guests in the four star hotel and one rosette restaurant.
The hotel’s General Manager, Peter Brighouse, said he had been very impressed with the young apprentices and was already looking ahead to training them in supervisory roles.
However, he said the pair were just the start for the hotel’s new Apprenticeship programme and three more vacancies were available for young people who wished to work in the hospitality and catering industry.
Peter said: “We would like to develop people who are keen to build a career in the hospitality industry, who are passionate about providing great service to guests and have ambition to progress. In return, we will pay people accordingly and we have plans to move away from the minimum wage by April 2016. As a result, when our successful apprentices complete their courses, they will move into professional roles with a decent living wage.
“Apprenticeships are great because they give us an opportunity to spend a lot of time with young people, helping them to develop and build skills that are vital to our business. At the same time, they are receiving great experience and qualifications, while getting paid. It’s a clear route to full-time employment, working with the managers of the future.
“Taking on apprentices enables us to pay the best performing members of our team the living wage regardless of their age. We believe they deserve this for the consistently good, hard work they put into the business.”
Peter said he was delighted with the relationship the hotel had built with New College Stamford and the quality of students it produced.
He added: “We are excited about developing the partnership further. We also have a number of students from the college who work with us part-time, so we will be looking to train them further too.”
Anthony, 19, from Peterborough, said he attended New College Stamford because the course enabled him to try both the catering and hospitality side of the business. He later opted for hospitality.
“I’m really excited about getting an Apprenticeship at The William Cecil Hotel,” he said.
“College was fun, and I learned a lot, but I just want to crack on. Doing an Apprenticeship is giving me experience of working in a real environment. I love it here.”
Namakau, 18, from Stamford, said: “I want to work front of house because since I started college I have grown in confidence and I love interacting with customers. I feel privileged to have an Apprenticeship at this particular hotel because the experience and training I will gain will be first class.”
The college’s Food and Beverage Lecturer and Assessor, Vicki Brown, said she was working with Peter to create the right training model for the hotel.
She said: “At New College Stamford we work with students to ensure they gain the right qualifications and skills, but we also work very hard to help them gain experience in the field. We have excellent relationships with employers, which enables us to match them perfectly to promising young people.
“We are delighted for Anthony and Namakau – they will do so well.”
The Apprenticeship vacancies at The William Cecil Hotel are in front of house and professional cookery. Anyone interested should contact Peter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org