The second De Vere Academy of Hospitality has opened in Crewe, Cheshire, with plans to enrol nearly 300 students in the next 12 months.
Launched at De Vere Wychwood Park, the academy will enable participants to study for a level 2 apprenticeship in either professional cookery or customer service.
Following the opening of the first academy at De Vere Cheadle House, in January, there are three further academies planned in Liverpool, Milton Keynes and Greenwich, London.
Ultimately, the De Vere Academy, which is a joint initiative between the Alternative Hotel Group (AHG) and the National Apprenticeship Service, with support from local government, plans to train 10,000 young people, aged 16 to 24, on accredited training programmes over the next three years.
To date, 167 students have achieved NVQ level 2 in hospitality skills, with 70% of graduates now in permanent employment or further education. Of those now working, 20% are with AHG properties, which include De Vere Hotels, De Vere Venue and Village.
Support for the De Vere Academy has come from a variety of employers including Hilton Worldwide, Crowne Plaza, and Manchester City FC.
Richard Balfour-Lynn, chief executive of AHG, said that the De Vere Academy took young people who wanted to learn, had the drive to succeed and the ambition to do well.
“We give them an opportunity to achieve an academic qualification while gaining invaluable work experience,” he said. “We will deliver the very best quality training in a fantastic facility with the sole intention of changing young people’s lives.”
John Myers, employer services director for the National Apprenticeship Service, said that he was delighted that a group such as AHG had put its support behind such a unique venture as the academy.
“Young people will not only gain vital qualifications and skills, but will find themselves well prepared and equipped to potentially become our future hotel managers, chefs, waiters and customer service experts,” he said.