De Vere to open hospitality academy
25th July 2011
De Vere to open Hospitality Academy at the Ricoh Arena
THE UK’s leading independent hospitality group is opening its eighth academy to train the next generation of apprentices in Coventry.
The De Vere Academy of Hospitality has chosen the Ricoh Arena to train 300 more 16 to 24-year-olds currently not in education, employment or training (NEETS), starting in October.
De Vere, who have recently branded the on-site 80 bedroom hotel at the Ricoh, will take on some of the graduates – who each have four months of experience – but many more will either go into further training or work in the local economy.
The nationwide programme, which was set up last year, currently runs academies in Stockport, Crewe, Milton Keynes, Liverpool (two sites), Greenwich and the Wirral with support from the National Apprenticeship Service.
Kellie Rixon, managing director of the De Vere Academy of Hospitality, said it was important to build partnerships with businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire who may need high quality staff in the future and who can offer work experience for its students.
“In recent times we have seen a significant decrease in the amount of skilled staff and new talent coming into the hospitality industry,” she said.
“This has had a big impact not just in our company but in the industry as a whole with predicted vacancies over the next three years estimated at one million. We need to make a difference – and this is where the academy comes in.
“At our other academies, many local businesses have offered work placement opportunities and time and time again, we have received messages expressing appreciation and admiration for what they do.
“It’s too easy to forget the eagerness and passion that our young people have in wanting to learn and secure employment. The academy along with our industry and business partners help identify and nurture that passion – and kick-start the beginning of what we hope will be long and successful careers.”
Daniel Gidney, chief executive of the Ricoh Arena, believes the initiative will not only make a serious impact on the problem of youth unemployment but will also boost the leisure industry in Coventry and Warwickshire.
He said: “This is a fantastic initiative which can only bring positive results for this area and we are really pleased that it is coming to the Ricoh. We have a very good working relationship with De Vere and it sees the advantages of establishing an academy here.
“When the idea for the Ricoh Arena was first devised, being a driver of regeneration was one of the main factors.
“This scheme will only increase that aspect of our operation. It will offer real opportunities for young local people and give then a very sound base of training and experience to help them improve their prospects.
“The Ricoh is delighted to be associated with the academy and we are working hard with De Vere to ensure its success.”