Sheffield’s leading hotels are training the next generation of talent in traditional skills.

Hospitality Sheffield and The Sheffield College joined forces to launch a one-year hospitality apprenticeship pilot which sees 14 apprentices in front of house and commis chef roles at venues including Copthorne Hotel Sheffield, DoubleTree Sheffield Park, Kenwood Hall Hotel and Mosborough Hall Hotel.

Lyn Sale, deputy head of learning, The Sheffield College, said: “This innovative approach will ensure our industry develops and grows local talent, and provides exciting and rewarding careers in hospitality. As well as ensuring employees develop key craft skills, it also offers them the opportunity to work with catering and hospitality colleagues across the city.”

Sheffield College has a national reputation for catering and hospitality, and offers a range of bakery, catering and hospitality and patisserie courses. The £1.2 million catering wing has industry standard equipment and six training kitchens including a bakery and patisserie.

Catering and hospitality staff have strong connections to industry, including being Master Chefs of Great Britain, leading to high level skills development, work placements and job opportunities.

Kate Stenton, human resources and development manager, Copthorne Hotel Sheffield, and a board member of Hospitality Sheffield, said: “We know there is some great potential hospitality talent in Sheffield. Our aim is to nurture and keep it in the city. Our industry offers exciting job opportunities, and we want new lifeblood coming through. This trial scheme is our response to that challenge.”

Apprentice Rhiannah Toppin said: “I’m enjoying meeting other colleagues from the industry and understanding we all have the same aims, but with different constraints and challenges. I hope the course will give me the confidence to gain promotion within the workplace.”

Vine Hotels also is investing in the pilot scheme, recruiting an apprentice at Whirlowbrook Hall on Ecclesall Road. The scheme sees 16-year-old commis chef Miles Cooper attending Sheffield College one day a week for 18 months and the rest working under Whirlowbrook Hall’s head chef, Alex Fretwell.

Steve Whittaker, general manager of Double Tree by Hilton Sheffield Park (part of Vine Hotels) and chair of Hospitality Sheffield said: “Vine Hotels is committed to investing in, recruiting and training within the local workforce. We want to help ensure that the local hospitality industry has the highest calibre of staff available to provide a quality service to the thousands of people visiting our venues every year.”