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Right: Companies are targeting parents returning to work Below: Recruiting apprentices will reduce skills deficits


suppliers that have a strong CSR programme and a maturing apprenticeship scheme.” Which should be good news for Premier Inn, among many others. The hotel group’s parent company Whitbread last year launched a “digital apprenticeship scheme” as part of its Whitbread Investing in Skills and Employment (WISE) initiative to train candidates in digital-related specialisms.


SPARK AND PASSION Catherine Braybrook, Premier Inn’s head of learning and development, says: “As most good employers know, good exam results are not always indicative of performance in the working world. What we really value is the ability to employ the people with the right attitude for the job – people with a spark and passion you just can’t teach.”


WE WOULD BE MORE POSITIVE TO SUPPLIERS THAT HAVE A STRONG CSR PROGRAMME AND A MATURING APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME


Good news, too, for British Airways, which recently launched a cabin crew recruitment campaign for 2,000 entrants at its Global Learning Academy. “The pro- gramme will see them gain qualifications in English, maths and digital skills, access to a dedicated mobile app to track their progress and continuous development coaching from a certified apprenticeship coach,” BA says. Meanwhile, the Hospitality Appren- ticeships Showcase took place in March, giving UKHospitality – the former British Hospitality Association – the chance to stalk Westminster’s corridors of power promoting its UKHospitality Academy to MPs. “Our ambition is to see the UKHospitality Academy as a way of attracting career-mind- ed talent into the sector, upskilling the existing workforce and driving improved


buyingbusinesstravel.com


staff retention,” the organisation says. “Ap- prenticeships are a fantastic way of attract- ing young people, returners to work, those transferring from other sectors, and many more, into the sector. Evidence shows that apprenticeships and training increase staff retention rates and loyalty to businesses.” The consultation (gov.uk/government/ consultations/social-value-in-govern- ment-procurement) ends on 10 June, and offers useful insight into an area that will almost inevitably become a consideration in procurement processes across all sectors. While value for money will always be a key component in the procurement process, suppliers should not underestimate the value of apprenticeship schemes. nBBT Roundtable: Corporate travel and academia, p80-84


APPRENTICES WANTED According to the Trading Economics


consultancy, the UK’s youth unemployment rate is 11.5 per cent, compared with the overall unemployment rate of 4 per cent. It’s not all about young people,


however. The Trades’ Union Congress (TUC) says ex-offenders find it disproportionately difficult to return to the world of work and Royal British Legion Industries runs a LifeWorks programme to help armed forces veterans struggling to find jobs. Travelodge has just launched a


flexible-hours recruitment drive – with on-the-job training – to encourage up to 3,000 parents back into a work environment that fits around drop-off and pick-up times. The apprenticeships.gov.uk website


provides statutory information and links to apprenticeship training providers, while the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education gives more specific information at instituteforapprenticeships.org.


2019 MAY/JUNE 33


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