Kerry Pritchard – Training Officer for Apprenticeships in Hospitality
Our Apprenticeship programmes provide local employers with access to apprentices with a unique set of skills and knowledge, who can excel at an industry-standard level.
We are proud to be helping create a modern workforce which has been moulded by teaching staff with extensive experience and which brings value to anywhere they work.
In this feature, we take a closer look at the teaching staff who are training apprentices and how their experience and expertise is shaping the specialists of the future.
We sat down with our Training Officer for apprenticeships in Catering and Hospitality, Kerry Pritchard.
What experience do you have in the Hospitality industry?
I first began working in Hospitality at the age of 15. I started working part-time at a hotel where I had the opportunity to try all sorts of jobs within the industry, ranging from kitchen work to reception and bar work.
Since then, I have worked in businesses within Hospitality. I started with an apprenticeship in retail before branching out and working at a brewery, in nightclubs and restaurants. I finally found my favourite part of the industry, in pub work. That’s the brilliant thing about the Hospitality industry, there are so many different options and you can learn so much from each one.
I have worked in Hospitality for more than 30 years and still do my CPD (Continuous Professional Development) at a pub, where I take more of a team leader role and look to guide and support the staff.
What do you take with you from your experiences in Hospitality when teaching the Apprentices?
I decided to go into teaching because I wanted to share my knowledge and advice with the next generation of Hospitality workers.
I went into the industry as a 15-year-old waitress with no confidence, who couldn’t hold a conversation with anybody, to working my way up to a general manager. From that journey, I take with me the knowledge of what it’s like starting off as a young person in the industry, where you are constantly having to learn and adapt to many different businesses and situations.
I think that one of the most important things to remember when you work in hospitality is that you always have to adapt.
My experience helps me support the Apprentices and means I can adapt so that it doesn’t matter if it’s an Apprentice working at a pub, restaurant or hotel, I can call on my previous experience to help the student with any customer.
Do you feel that the College curriculum reflects the real working world?
I do, yes. The standards that we teach are of a very high level. We make sure that the Apprentices learn the core elements of hospitality such as customer service, product and service knowledge and efficiency, but we also teach the Apprentices about the greater depths of business.
Through the Apprenticeships, they learn about the financial side of running a business, where budgeting and business plans are key components. The Apprentices also learn important skills related to developing a team as well as understanding customers and competitors through different marketing methods such as SWOT analysis.
The knowledge that we are looking to implement has a strong basis in the national curriculum, and in the experiences that myself and other staff members have had in the Hospitality industry
How do you feel that Apprenticeships can add value to the workplace?
The value lies in the way that the Apprenticeships are structured. The way in which we deliver the modules is adapted to each apprentice’s specialist area, whether that’s food, hotels, alcohol services, etc…
Our Apprentices are out there working in the real world. I think that is where the greatest value of Apprenticeships lies. They get the opportunity to learn on the job and learn by doing, through working with real people in real situations.
This means that the Apprentices learn quickly and gain an enormous amount of confidence that other forms of education can’t offer. This confidence is combined with the competence that they gain from one-on-one learning with us tutors, where they learn from a combination of our experience and an industry-adapted curriculum.