ThirdForce recognised as Skills for Life Partner to Whitbread

ThirdForce, the UK’s leading e-learning provider, now acting as the sole supplier of Skills for Life to Whitbread, attended the House of Commons Launch of the UK’s largest Hotel and Restaurant Group bespoke training and development programme.

On Wednesday 25 March privileged invited guests enjoyed a morning of awards and speeches to recognise the official launch of the apprenticeship programme.

Named the ‘Whitbread Model’ the six-month apprenticeship programme is the first and largest employer-led programme of its kind in the hospitality industry.

The ‘Whitbread Model’ is an innovative apprenticeship programme because all employees are eligible across its UK hotel and restaurant operations.

The model is also totally integrated into the core business training and development programmes and can be achieved in half the time of a normal NVQ.

By the end of 2009 over 3,000 employees are expected to have achieved qualifications such as NVQ’s and certificates in Adult numeracy and literacy, delivered by ThirdForce.

The ‘Whitbread Model’ was developed in conjunction with Awarding Body Edexcel , the Sector Skills Council People 1st and ThirdForce who partner Whitbread and supply excellent support for the Skills for Life qualification to support their innovative model.

Paul Knight Team Leader, Corey’s Mill Beefeater & Stevenage Premier Inn one of the first Whitbread people to complete the scheme commented:

“Training in my workplace is a lot more personalised than if I went to college, also being paid whilst you learn is far more beneficial for me then having to find time to fit in both work and college.”

Will Chadwick Head of Strategic Sales at ThirdForce commented:

“We were privileged to be invited to the House of Commons launch and delighted at the success of the pilot programme. We believe that the National rollout validates our belief in the real benefits of our U-skills total solution.

“Our unique blended approach of on-line e-learning materials with individual face-to-face support has enabled us to offer Whitbread a truly scalable, outsourced solution to their Skills for Life challenge.”

 Alan Parker, Chief Executive Officer for Whitbread PLC, commented:

“The ‘Whitbread Model’ is at the heart of our commitment to attract and train up the very best potential hospitality talent. We need to keep demonstrating that working in the hospitality industry is a great career move, not just a job. 

“By halving the time that it takes to achieve qualifications and combining the NVQ work with our industry leading induction programme, we anticipate that 20% of our workforce will have a nationally recognised qualification by 2010.”

 Tony McNulty, the Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform said:

“The Government is committed to its Local Employer Partnership Scheme, which provides unemployed people across the UK opportunities to find work with local employers. At a time when we are facing global economic challenges, I am encouraged to see that Whitbread are investing in the training and development of its employees and creating the future talent of the hospitality industry.”

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