FIVE young apprentices are finding out what a great opportunity it is to work in West Wales’s tourism and hospitality industry as they begin work at Bluestone National Park Resort.
The apprentices have been taken on through the Bluestone Academy, which provides a gateway to a range of careers in the tourism sector for young people through work experience, training, and apprenticeship schemes.
The objective is to highlight the range of careers available in the industry through training and experience in a range of roles.
Helen John, Bluestone Academy Manager, said: “Tourism and hospitality is a major employer in Pembrokeshire and the wider West Wales area. Here at Bluestone we employ more than 700 people and in the wider area there are hundreds more.
“Quite often people think the industry is seasonal and might not think there are full-time careers available. Through the Academy we’ve been actively promoting these opportunities through education and events and the apprenticeships are another way on bringing people into the industry.”
Five apprentices began their places in September. Three are in hospitality placements and two are Commis Chef apprentices.
The hospitality apprentices are working in guest services, retail, front of house, back of house, and leisure. The Commis Chef apprentices will be working at Bluestone’s Serendome, Hive, Tafarn Pub, and Farmhouse Grill.
Helen added: “The most important part of the role is developing fantastic ‘hospitality’ skills and knowledge such as recognising customer needs, knowing how to match them to the products and services of the business and working as part of a team to ensure that every customer feels welcomed and looked after.
“After 12 months, apprentices will be expected to apply for a department to consolidate skills learnt. They will work in an operational capacity, for a minimum of 12 months, before progressing on to the Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor Apprenticeship.”
Cambrian Training has been appointed by the Academy to support the apprenticeships.
Ross McGill, one of the apprentices, said he had already learned a great deal since starting in September. “It’s been a great experience. Learning and training on the job means you get a real grasp of the roles. Gaining experience in the different teams also means you have a better understanding of specific areas of the industry and helps guide us in the direction of where we might want to work specifically.in our careers.”
Neil Hillary, Academy Ambassador, said the Commis Chef apprenticeship is designed to train people working in a range of roles.
“The range of cuisine is different in each outlet and, although Chef Apprentices will tend to specialise in an area at the end of the apprenticeship, they must be adaptable and ready to support team members across the business,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to get a wide range of experience in a real working environment.”
More details about the Bluestone Academy and the range of apprenticeship and career opportunities can be found at https://careers.bluestonewales.com/academy.