Premier Inn, which runs 66 hotels in Scotland has launched a new Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Programme with 66 initial vacancies, following a partnership with ITC Academy and Skills Development Scotland.
The programme, aimed at school leavers, is designed to help build a strong and talented future workforce in the Scottish hospitality sector by giving apprentices the opportunity to train in all areas of the business whilst being paid the same rate as their team members in the same positions.
The apprentices will also gain recognised hospitality industry qualifications at Level 2 and be given a permanent contract with progression opportunities on completion of the programme.
Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women's Employment, said: “I am very pleased to see Premier Inn launching a new scheme that will give dozens of Scots the opportunity to gain a new qualification and develop new skills while they earn.
“The Scottish Government is committed to creating 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeship opportunities in 2015/16 and our work around Developing the Young Workforce includes seeking an improved gender balance for new starts.
“This is a significant contribution to that target and I wish the first tranche of Premier Inn MAs all the very best.”
Audrey Gillespie, Premier Inn Regional Operations Director in Scotland, said: “I am absolutely delighted and very proud to be launching our new Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Programme in partnership with ITC Academy and Skills Development Scotland.
“Together we have created a structured programme with additional practical experiences where apprentices can earn and learn at the same time, get paid the same rate as other team members and secure a permanent position at the end of it.
“Our new apprentices will be given the chance not only to learn from other people across all areas and levels of the business but help build their knowledge and communication skills, resulting in invaluable work and life skills.”
The WISE team (Whitbread Investing in Skills and Employment), who previously ran the Premier Inn apprenticeship programme in Scotland, has worked closely with the leaders in the hospitality training industry and ITC Academy, to create the new extended programme. This focuses on more advanced training, workshops and recognised industry standard qualifications.
Edinburgh-based, Daniel Bianco (20), was awarded Whitbread Apprentice of the Year 2014, under the previous WISE Apprenticeship Programme.
Daniel said: “Winning the UK-wide Apprenticeship of the Year 2014 was an amazing achievement. Having left school with no qualifications or job, it was great to have the opportunity to work with Premier Inn and learn so many practical skills across all areas of the business, from reception and food and beverage to maintenance and finance, and build on my qualifications at the same time.
“With the ongoing support and mentoring I get, my life has completely turned around for the best. I love being part of a great team, my confidence has grown and every day I really look forward to going to work, which is something I never thought I’d be able to say.”
Ian McCulloch, Director of ITC Academy, said: “I am really looking forward to working in partnership with Premier Inn on this very exciting programme which will not only help to reduce unemployment among young people but will help enhance the visitor experience for tourists in Scotland.
“It is vital that more large-scale organisations like Whitbread join forces with hospitality training providers like ITC Academy and Skills Development Scotland to invest in our young people in an industry where there are sustainable jobs and long-term career prospects at all levels, from school leavers to university graduates.”
Costa, part of Whitbread plc, will also launch an official apprenticeship programme in partnership with ITC Academy in early 2016.
Lawrence Durden, Skills Development Scotland’s Tourism Sector Manager, said: “Modern Apprenticeships are vital for the hospitality industry to continue to attract talented young people and to develop skills.
“It’s fantastic to see that Premier Inn is committed to developing its workforce and that more than 60 young people will benefit from these Modern Apprenticeships.”
To apply for the Premier Inn Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Programme, please visit www.apprenticeships.scot