North Wales restaurant group, Dylan’s launched their hospitality training academy this week.
The Academy aims to help create a sustainable and accessible apprenticeship training programme for young people who are seeking to find a satisfying and rewarding career in hospitality, with a guaranteed job at the end of their course.
Director at Dylan’s, David Evans, said:
“We’re inviting 12 young cadets to take part in the 2-year programme, learning and gaining experience in all areas of our business, starting at their own level.”
Successful applicants to the Dylan’s Academy will benefit from a higher than National Minimum Wage pay throughout their training and education as cadets.
David Evans continued:
“Over the years, some hospitality businesses have taken advantage of young apprentices by placing work before education, with a very small wage. We will turn this on its head and reward our cadets for their contributions and investment.”
They will spend 35 hours a week on practical learning within the business, and 5 hours a week focusing on written work and essential study, all guided by an experienced Dylan’s Academy Leader and a personal Mentor.
“The hospitality industry has suffered over the years, expecting new recruits to be there when needed” said David Evans, “but we’re experiencing a lack of skilled applicants, something we know we have to address in the medium to long term, if we’re to keep the industry moving”.
Dylan’s Academy Leaders have over 100 years of collective experience in hospitality in different areas of the industry and will be welcoming prospective cadets at several open days in schools and colleges through the Autumn. On Monday November 8th, an Academy Open Day at Dylan’s Menai Bridge will be held, introducing the Academy leaders to prospective cadets and interested guests.
The restaurant group is partnering with Busnes@LlandrilloMenai to provide NVQ level qualifications and educational support as part of the Academy’s academic focus. Busnes@LlandrilloMenai is the apprenticeship and commercial division of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.
Rhianwen Edwards, Director of Commercial and Work Based Learning at Busnes@LlandrilloMenai commented:
“The Dylan’s Hospitality Training Academy offers exciting opportunities for apprentices to embark on training knowing a career with Dylan’s awaits them. Dylan’s is tackling staff shortages in Hospitality and Catering head-on with this initiative, by giving apprentices the skills, experience and support to succeed and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai is proud to be a part of supporting the Academy by providing professional training and qualifications.”
Dylan’s have also partnered with Môn CF Anglesey & Gwynedd and Gwaith Gwynedd in the search for cadets who are interested and excited to learn a new trade and develop a career in the hospitality industry.
Rees Brown, Business Support Manager at Môn CF Anglesey & Gwynedd commented:
“We are extremely excited to be working alongside Dylan’s to support the delivery of their new Academy programme in collaboration with Busnes@LlandrilloMenai and Gwaith Gwynedd. The Dylan’s Academy is a fantastic opportunity for passionate individuals to gain paid experience, upskill with accredited qualifications and secure sustainable employment with a fast-growing company in what is such an important sector to the North Wales economy.”
Academy cadets will have the opportunity to find roles within the restaurant kitchens and front of house teams. There will also be roles in the administrative team at head office, at Dylan’s General Store or within the bakery and retail production kitchen.
Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community said:
“As a Council, we are pleased to be working alongside Dylan’s Skills Academy through our Gwaith Gwynedd employability programme.
“The last 18 months has been a difficult period for the hospitality industry, but as we look to the future it is important to ensure that young people have the skills and experience to become leading figures in the industry. By giving young people a chance to develop their skills and knowledge we hope to see them develop a sustainable career with a reputable business within the industry. It’s a great opportunity for local young people to enhance their skills whilst also earning a competitive salary.”
“Gwaith Gwynedd will aim to identify suitable young people for the Academy and prepare them for the opportunity of their first steps in the hospitality industry, by increasing their confidence and resilience for the future.”
Dylan’s hopes to lift the veil on hospitality through its Academy, providing bespoke training in different areas across their restaurant and food retail business, as well as in the expected Front of House and Kitchen roles.
“Hospitality isn’t just about the welcome and the meal…” explains Andy Foster, Executive Chef at Dylan’s, “there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, a huge number of roles not usually thought about in relation to hospitality.”
The entire course will comprise of a 2-year full time paid apprenticeship programme, leading to an NVQ level 3 in Professional Cookery for Kitchen cadets. For Front of House, they will undertake BIIAB, Level 2/3 Licensed Hospitality Skills & Operations, leading on to City & Guilds Hospitality Supervisory & Leadership qualification.
Dylan’s aims to see their Academy also create a helpful template for other hospitality businesses to use in the future, assisting in their efforts to recruit talent into the industry