Fairmont St Andrews expands its apprenticeship program with the University of Dundee
By Denis Sheehan, Editor, H&C News: Fairmont St Andrews is expanding its apprenticeship program with the University of Dundee.
Fairmont St Andrews, part of Accor UK, has expanded its Junior Hotelier Apprenticeship program by offering graduates the opportunity to complete a business degree in partnership with the University of Dundee, alongside six-month rotations in different departments of the luxury hotel.
Apprentices attend university once a week as part of the programme, successful graduates receive their Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) as well as a BSc (Hons) in Business Management upon completion of the programme. The unique Junior Hotelier Apprenticeship develops young talent in the hospitality industry by offering six-month rotations in different departments of the luxury hotel, giving apprentices hands-on experience in the industry while earning a living national wage.
The Fairmont St Andrews is the only hotel in Scotland to offer such a hotel qualification program.
The program currently has 21 apprentices at various stages of the four-year program. The latest promotion of six young talents have completed their first semester in four departments under the mentorship of John Keating, general manager of the Fairmont St Andrews and founder of the Junior Hotelier Apprenticeship.
John Keating, General Manager of Fairmont St Andrews, said: “One of the biggest challenges we face in the industry today is maintaining the talent pool for hospitality and keeping young leaders dynamic. The sustainability of the industry with educational opportunities is paramount. As we welcome our new undergraduates to the program, I look forward to sharing my team’s passion, vision and expertise with the next generation of hospitality leaders. Our industry is incredibly special which has been hit hard over the past two years and I am proud and honored that so many young talents are committed to the sector and its future.
“Since 2015 I have worked alongside the Scottish Government to develop a three year hospitality apprenticeship programme, a four year apprenticeship for hospitality graduates and am now working to pilot a Hospitality Foundation apprenticeship for reaching secondary level young people in three schools in Fife. . This is a huge achievement and I am grateful for the support from government agencies and especially my team, colleagues and apprentices at Fairmont St Andrews. This apprenticeship program demonstrates our commitment to training a young workforce and investing in the local community and the future of luxury hospitality.
Marc Dardenne, COO Luxury Europe at Accor, said: “The unique and impressive Junior Hotelier Apprenticeship Program created by John Keating has been instrumental in combating misconceptions that hospitality is low-skilled work. By offering young people the opportunity to gain recognized qualifications while earning a National Living Wage and working in one of Scotland’s leading 5* resorts, emerging talent benefits from a holistic learning experience that accelerates their entry into the industry. The Junior Hotelier program reaffirms our commitment to developing the talents of the future and fostering growth and opportunity in the sector which is, today, rich with opportunity as travel returns once again.
The apprenticeship program teaches transferable skills and involves mentorship from senior members of staff, including the management team, and apprentice development will be monitored through quarterly meetings.
Apprentices in the program gain experience in departments such as kitchen, housekeeping, food and beverage venues and reception, in addition to golf management, greens maintenance, spa and business administration (finance, human resources, sales, marketing and events).
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