Apprenticeships: a brighter future in hospitality

For Thomas Dubaere, managing director of AccorHotels, one of the biggest challenges the hospitality industry faces is that people often aren’t aware of the diverse and exciting career options available to them

When it comes to hospitality people typically think of two jobs: front of house or housekeeping. In fact we offer over 100 different job roles – everything from beauty therapist to IT support. We want to educate and inspire people about the rich, diverse and exciting roles within the hospitality industry. The size and diversity of the sector means that young people looking for a career in hospitality have a huge number of opportunities to pursue a long and worthwhile career.

Another myth we work hard to tackle is that apprenticeships are not a viable route to reaching your career goals. Apprenticeships are vital as they offer an alternative route to achieving your career ambitions. Classroom learning isn’t for everyone and apprenticeships are the perfect alternative for those people who want to combine some formal learning with on-the-job learning. They allow young people to earn while they learn, as well as helping them to fulfil their career aspirations.

Working together towards a brighter future

I believe every organisation should make apprenticeships a core part of their business. AccorHotels has been offering apprenticeships for over a decade and during that time we have seen over 500 apprentices pass through our doors and go on to have rich and rewarding careers. The success of our programme is demonstrated by the fact that more than 80 per cent of our apprentices stay with the business once they have completed their apprenticeships and many have worked their way up to managerial positions.

At AccorHotels, we truly believe in the value of apprenticeships – not only for the individuals but in ensuring the future success of our business. This is why earlier this year (during National Apprenticeship Week) we announced our plans to recruit an additional 150 apprentices by the end of 2016, bringing our total to 300 in the UK.

The industry is key to the future success of our country – we must convince young people of the exciting opportunities available to them and encourage them to consider an apprenticeship as a way of starting their career.

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Thomas Dubaere is the managing director for AccorHotels UK & Ireland, a position he has held since February 2012. In January 2014 he took responsibility for Hotel Services AccorHotels UK and Ireland, the hotel operator and brand franchisor arm of the business. He also sits on the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Board of Directors.

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