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Brend Hotels


Work experience and training is the focus, with an Apprenticeship Academy and support to carve a career at one of 11 hotels in the stunning south west


B


rend Hotels was the first hotel company in the south west to launch its own


Apprenticeship Academy. The group, which has 11 luxury hotels throughout


Devon and Cornwall, has been offering vocational training to its staff since 2004. Apprentices used to attend local colleges, but now all training takes place at Brend Hotels’ Training Academy and on the job at its hotel sites. There are more than 60 apprentices on the scheme, learning a variety of skills connected with the hotel industry, including front of house, bar, waiting, administration, housekeeping, concierge and portering. We also have a group of newly qualified commis chefs, some who have graduated with distinction, working towards their chef de partie qualification level 3, supported by the HIT Training Chef Academies, which offer practical workshops. Andrew Mosedale, Brend Hotels’ HR manager and academy principal, says: “We have spent the past 12 years building up expertise and are delighted with the progress. It is certainly a positive aid to grow and develop skills vital to our industry, along with staff retention and reduced staff turnover, given that Brexit is around the corner.” Director Peter Brend Snr says apprenticeships


have proved a very important way of ‘growing your own’ staff. “We are a family business that


values its employees and encourages them to stay long-term,” he explains. “Apprenticeships have proved to be an excellent


way of developing and enhancing the skill levels in our establishments. Having our own academy means we can offer the very best level 2, 3 and higher apprenticeships on-site. Our aim is to become an employer of industry excellence in all senses of the term.”


Professional qualifications The Apprenticeship Academy initiative is blazing a trail in the south west and the group has been heavily involved in the new government industry standards. HIT Training, a leading specialist training and apprenticeship provider for the UK’s hospitality, hotel and catering industry, will be responsible for providing expert support and training assessors, as well as sourcing funding for eligible learners. HIT’s managing director Jill Whittaker says: “We’re


very pleased to be working with them. Well-trained, competent staff are a valuable asset and can help a business perform by delivering improved efficiency, better customer service and reduce staff turnover.”


Contact Brend Hotels is recruiting new apprentices. Call group HR manager Andrew Mosedale on 01271 372 166 or email am@brendhotels.com


Phoenix De Giorgi, chef, Saunton Sands Hotel When starting out as a chef, Phoenix De Giorgi knew he wanted “a hands-on experience”, so when he was offered the opportunity to do an apprenticeship with Brend Hotels, he jumped at the chance. On leaving school at the age of 18, Phoenix


was presented with two options to start his career as a chef: to go to college or to do an apprenticeship. Phoenix decided to do a level 2 commis chef standard at Brend Hotels’ Saunton Sands establishment. Based in North Devon and overlooking


three miles of beach, Saunton Sands is a four-star art deco hotel and a flagship for Brend Hotels, which has a collection of 11 luxury hotels across the south west. The hotel has won many prestigious awards, most recently achieving two AA Rosettes for dining. Speaking about his decision to do an


apprenticeship, Phoenix says: “I have gained a huge amount of experience while working towards my apprenticeship, not just in how to be a chef, but in time management, handling responsibility in the kitchen and organising my workload. It is such an inspirational environment to be part of as everyone loves their job, which means I’m inspired and constantly driven to do my best at all times too.”


SHOWCASE Case study


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