UK’s Biggest Hotel Chain Is A Winner At Welsh Training Provider’s Awards

The UK’s biggest hotel chain with more than 800 hotels, 400 restaurants and 36,000 employees has picked up an award from a leading Welsh apprenticeship provider.

Whitbread plc was named Macro Employer of the Year at Cambrian Training Company’s apprenticeship awards held at The Metropole Hotel & Spa, Llandrindod Wells.

The awards recognise employers and learners who have excelled in apprenticeship, skills and employment training programmes delivered by Cambrian Training Company and partners.

Richard Brooks-Harley, Whitbread’s apprenticeships delivery manager, said the company was delighted to win the award. “I am very proud of what we do to support our apprentices across the devolved nations.

“Apprenticeships provide opportunities to all our employees and to receive this award on their behalf is very meaningful to me.”

Over the last year, 230 apprentices have achieved their apprenticeship with a further 2,100 now on the programme. A wide range of apprenticeships associated with the hospitality industry, from Levels 2-5, are provided and help to retain staff which improves the guest experience, boosts sales and reduces costs.

The apprenticeships are delivered by Lifetime Training in partnership with Cambrian Training Company. In 2022, 70% of the company’s apprentices were promoted within a year of completing their apprenticeship.

Whitbread plc’s founder, Samuel Whitbread, was himself an apprentice, which underlines the company’s commitment to learning and development.

Charlene Clark, Whitbread plc’s apprenticeship support co-ordinator, said:
“Our apprenticeship provision fits in with our Force for Good programme and gives all our team members the opportunity to learn and develop. With a no barriers to entry approach, all our team can reach their potential.

“We have an available apprenticeship programme for every operational role within our organisation and strive to provide industry leading training and development in an inclusive environment for all our teams.”

Highlighting the value of retaining employees, a one per cent decrease in staff turnover adds £5million to the company’s bottom line. Retention is 10% higher for apprentices.

Faith O’Brien, Cambrian Training Company’s managing director, congratulated Whitbread and the other award winners and finalists. “Employers are the driving force behind the success of apprenticeships and their dedication to providing quality training and mentorship is commendable,” she said.

“Through their participation, they open the doors to real-world experiences, enabling apprentices to acquire the practical skills and knowledge necessary for their chosen fields.

“Apprenticeships are an investment in our future and they provide the foundation for a strong and vibrant economy.”