Celebrating the development of talent
Last week was National Hospitality Apprenticeship Week which gave us a great opportunity to celebrate the 103 apprentices we currently have training with us at the Celtic Manor Resort and to showcase some of their achievements.
Some of our young apprentices went under the spotlight in social media video clips explaining why they are earning while they learn under the wide range of apprenticeship courses we have to offer.
Probably the highlight of the week was a cook-off in the staff restaurant organised by our Learning and Development team between two of our most promising, teenaged apprentice chefs.
Hannah Payne, who is 19, and 17-year-old Dafydd Scott set up rival red and blue kitchens, cooked separate menus and competed to serve the most dishes to around 500 fellow staff members during lunch service.
In the end, Hannah’s menu of chicken tikka curry with naan bread just edged out Dafydd’s meatballs in tomato sauce with penne pasta and garlic bread to win the MasterChef-style competition by just three votes.
Hannah’s prize was a pair of tickets to the Wales v Ireland rugby international on 31st August, kindly donated by Cambrian Training, one of our key apprenticeship partners, and presented by their Head of Hospitality Chris Bason (pictured left) and our Vice-President, Operations, Matthew Lewis (right).
We work with many more training providers as well as further education colleges like Cardiff and Vale College, Coleg Gwent and Bridgend College to provide valuable on-the-job training and apprenticeship courses for their students.
Our own Celtic College prospectus of in-house training offers an amazing variety of apprenticeship courses, reflecting our diverse business and ranging from business administration, IT and golf retail, to digital marketing, childcare and sports turf.
Apprenticeships are a key pillar of our talent management route to grow our own managers of the future and we want to invest in our staff to not only grow our own business, but also to grow them personally to succeed within the industry in general, and help fill a definite skills shortage we face within hospitality.
As well as apprenticeship employment opportunities at entry level, Celtic Manor offers apprenticeship qualifications for established members of staff in areas like leadership and management.
Alongside apprenticeships, we are also excited to be partnering with the University of South Wales to deliver a pioneering new honours degree course in Hotel and Hospitality Management.
Students split their time between learning the theory and concepts of hospitality operations and management in the classroom, and gaining much-needed, hands-on experience in our kitchens, restaurants, front desk and rooms division departments, as well as with smaller boutique hotels in the Welsh Rarebits collection.
We have worked with some really promising students for two years now and we look forward to seeing our first graduates complete the course next summer.
One of the problems we have seen when recruiting graduates in the past is that they may have the degree qualification but they often come with very little practical experience of what it’s actually like to work within the industry.
We know the graduates from this new course will come with plenty of practical experience to make them industry-ready to help fill the skills gap I have talked about.
We have developed other young industry professionals over the last few years through our own Trainee Management Scheme, which sees applicants go through a rigorous selection process before spending two years working in every one of our varied departments from housekeeping to greenkeeping, and from IT to HR.
The scheme has seen us develop a number of up-and-coming managers who remain within our own business while others have gone on to exciting new roles at other hospitality venues.
Creating these schemes all takes time and effort but we never lose sight of the fact that our staff are greatest asset and investing in people and their training becomes ever more important as we continue to expand the Celtic Collection.