Hospitality and Catering Apprenticeship

Why an apprenticeship in Hospitality and Catering?

An apprenticeship will give you a ‘foot in the door’ to this competitive industry; you’ll gain hands-on experience and work-based training. You will also be at a clear advantage when applying for work; the industry is fast-moving and employers experience difficulty finding, then keeping, quality staff. An apprenticeship will enable you to specialise in the area that excites you most and provide you with references for when you decide to move on.

Who would it suit?

A career in hospitality and catering would suit someone who can be part of a team, is enthusiastic and hard working. You’ll need good customer service and communication skills and be able to rise to challenging situations. Often you won’t be working 9am to 5pm, so it would suit someone who is flexible and able to work shifts and weekends.

What are the job opportunities?

As an apprentice, you are likely to start in an assistant role. This could be a customer-facing position; such as a waiter or bar attendant, front office or customer service assistant. Or you might prefer to be behind the scenes in a role such as housekeeping, kitchen assistant or food sourcing assistant.

What can I earn?

The minimum apprenticeship wage is around £150 per week but at the London Apprenticeship Company we recommend that apprentices are paid considerably more. The average assistant or support worker will earn between £10,000 and £17,000 once qualified.

What will I learn?

You’ll choose one of up to nine pathways (listed below). On the Food and Drink Service pathway, you’ll learn to serve customers as a waiter or behind the bar. The Professional Cookery pathway is for those who want to train as chefs, and the Food Processing and Cooking pathway is for those working in large-scale catering jobs, for organisations such as schools, the NHS or the Armed Forces. The Front Office pathway is for those interested in working in the reception area of hospitality. The Hospitality Services pathway is for jobs in smaller places such as running a B&B or youth hostel and Housekeeping is focused on making sure the accommodation is beautiful and clean.

On the Advanced Apprenticeship, there’s also a variety of pathways. For example, Professional Cookery, which could lead to a job as head chef or restaurant manager, or Hospitality Supervision, which could lead to a wide-ranging managerial role.

How long does it take?

Training takes around 12-18 months from start to completion.

What’s the training?

Apprenticeship training is structured so that you spend most of your time learning at work and some of your time at a training centre or completing training online.

All the qualifications you gain are recognised by employers and industry professionals.

There are two levels of apprenticeship training in hospitality and catering:

Level 2 Apprenticeship

This includes:

  • NVQ Level 2 in Hospitality*
  • Key Skills in Communication Level 2 and Application of Number Level 1
  • Technical Certificates at Foundation Level in Health and Safety & Food Hygiene
  • Employer Rights and Responsibilities

* NVQ Level 2: for this, you will take one of the following NVQ Level 2 pathways depending on your job requirements:

  • Food and Drink Service
  • Food and Drink Service (Food Service)
  • Food and Drink Service (Drink Service)
  • Food Processing and Cooking
  • Front Office
  • Housekeeping
  • Hospitality Services (Multi-Skilled)
  • Professional Cookery
  • Professional Cookery (Flexible)

Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Hospitality includes:

  • NVQ Level 3 in Hospitality*
  • Key Skills in Communication Level 2, Application of Number Level 2 and Information Technology Level 1
  • Technical Certificates include a choice from two of the following:
    – Intermediate Level in Health and Safety
    – Intermediate Level Food Hygiene
    – Wines Spirits and other Alcoholic Beverages Level 2
    – British Institute of Innkeepers, Licensee Certificate
    – Employer Rights and Responsibilities

* NVQ Level 3: for this, you will take one of the following NVQ Level 3 pathways depending on your job requirements:

  • NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery
  • NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery (Patisserie and Confectionery)
  • NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery (flexible)
  • NVQ Level 3 in Hospitality Supervision

What support will I receive?

  1. LAC Mentor
    The London Apprenticeship Company will appoint you a mentor who will be on hand to support you throughout your apprenticeship.
  2. Employer Supervisor
    Your Employer Supervisor or Manager will address your needs at work and be responsible for making sure your employment is appropriate to your level of skill and training requirements.
  3. Trainer
    Your trainer is responsible for making sure you are keeping up with your assignments, assessing you at work and ensuring the training they deliver meets all the industry requirements.

What happens after completion?

The three most likely progression routes will be:

  1. Continued employment – If you have done well in your job, your employer may offer you continued employment.
  2. Secure employment elsewhere – With your qualifications, experience and references in place, you will be in a great position to get a good job.
  3. Further training – Your apprenticeship can lead to further training such as an Advanced Apprenticeship or even university. (LAC will continue to support you if you choose to do an Advanced Apprenticeship.)