Hotel group opens second Academy of Hospitality

The Alternative Hotel Group (AHG) has opened the doors on its second Academy of Hospitality as its plans to train up 10,000 apprentices over the next three years continue apace.

The second De Vere Academy has opened at De Vere’s Wychwood Park property in Crewe, Cheshire, with plans to enrol nearly 300 students in the next 12 months. It will enable participants to study for a level 2 apprenticeship in either professional cookery or customer service.

The De Vere Academy, a joint initiative between AHG and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) 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.

It launched at De Vere Cheadle House, Manchester Airport, in January, and will see the creation of three further academies in Liverpool, Milton Keynes and Greenwich.

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 had 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 NAS, added: “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.”

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