Whitbread PLC, owner of Premier Inn and Costa, has announced its commitment to creating more than 6,000 apprenticeships by 2020 and the launch of a brand new apprenticeship scheme for Costa. To deliver this pledge Whitbread plans to take on around 1,200 apprentices across its Premier Inn, Costa and restaurant brands each year.
The Premier Inn apprenticeship scheme has been running since 2010 and has successfully delivered over 1,100 apprenticeships to date, with a further 950 trainees currently working towards their apprenticeship. The new Costa Apprenticeships programme will provide an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Customer Service and Barista Skills and will open for applications in Summer 2015.
Andy Harrison, CEO of Whitbread, said: “Our 45,000 team members are our greatest asset and it’s vital we invest in them, creating opportunities to develop their skills and build their careers. We will commit £5.7m to our apprenticeship programmes over the next five years. I firmly believe that investing in apprenticeships is essential to Whitbread’s future success and to the health of the UK economy, as well as helping the next generation to achieve their full potential.”
The prime minister, David Cameron, said: “There really has never been a better time to start an apprenticeship and it’s a huge leap forward to have Whitbread, one of Britain’s leading employers in the hospitality industry, hiring even more apprentices.
“We want Apprenticeships to be level-pegging with a university degree, giving millions more people the dignity of work and a regular pay packet.”
Whitbread says its commitment to apprenticeships leads to real success stories, with 34% of apprentices gaining a promotion within 15 months and 95% of them moving to management positions within the same time frame. Apprentices are also 45% more likely to stay with the company than non-apprentices.
Whitbread’s newest venture, the Hub by Premier Inn hotel on St. Martin’s Lane, is staffed almost entirely by local young people who were not previously in education, employment or training. In addition, Premier Inn aims to fill at least half of any new opening vacancies with people that were previously unemployed.