New Continental Hotel, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LD

Tel: 01752 276798

Why Apprenticeships Matter In Hospitality …

Why do an apprenticeship..?

Can you have a hotel without passion..? What is a holiday without exceptional service..? We must engage, empower and enable young people..!

Paul Doidge, Executive Chef for the New Continental Group explains why he is an ambassador and advocate for anything that gives young people a springboard that connects them to a future in hospitality…

The government initiative to fund three million apprentice places by 2020 has had a mixed response. So, after the first year we take a look at the benefits attached to apprenticeships. For both the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth and our sector.

As a family business we feel it is our duty to ensure guests have the very best experiences. Yet we also feel it’s our duty to do the same for our staff too. We aim to ensure our staff feel appreciated, empowered and enabled – as well as knowing their value and unlocking their potential.

Paul Doidge shares the facts…

“Apprenticeships are excellent for up skilling staff whilst also recruiting and retaining top, young talent. Recent research has shown us that 70% of apprentices stay with their employers once completing their qualification. This is really amazing statistics.  For us, apprenticeships aren’t just about the value they offer the apprentice, but also the value they give our business and sector as a whole. Having an apprenticeship programme is one of the best ways of creating a more motivated, passionate and satisfied workforce.

What’s more, it ensures growth in our sector and a future that is bursting with energy and enthusiasm.  With young people passionate about a profession within hospitality. There have been great strides  taken within our sector over the last 20 years, not only by us, but many amazing companies who are championing the industry. As a united front a huge change is coming, by us all sharing the same vision,  recruiting new talent and tackling the somewhat negative perception of working within the industry means we are making leaps and bounds in the right direction.”

What do apprentices do for our sector?

“For us, as an independent hotel,  apprentices help decrease the skills gap but also change the narrative over time on the positives and many benefits that chefs can reap from working within our sector. As the new levy moves boldly into its second year we can look forward to  incubating the next generation to attract, retain and develop new shining lights. This will help brighten all of our futures and is most definitely the way forward.”

What IS the levy?

“Like many changes, understanding them sometimes feels like you need a post doctorate to wade your way through the facts and figures! I am no expert, but working with City College Plymouth has helped me understand the essence of the levy.

Basically it requires all companies (with a pay bill of more than £3m) to contribute 0.5% of their payroll costs to the scheme. They then claim back for training. This amount is then topped up by 10% from the government. Businesses with pay bills below £3m don’t pay into the fund but they still have access to government subsidies of 90% of the cost of the apprenticeship, with the employers co-paying the additional 10%.

A year in and many are now asking for the Apprenticeship Levy transfer fund cap to be expanded from 10% to 50% to help support SMEs, as they make up of 90% of the hospitality industry.”

Do you practise what you preach?

“Although we are definitely not pretending to be experts in the field, we have had apprentices for many years and are pleased and encouraged that we are seeing apprentices lead on to successful, long-term careers in hospitality. What we also love to see is the numbers doing higher level apprenticeships have also increased. There is no doubt that like us, those businesses that are open to this real and purposeful way of working really do benefit.

By spending just a little  time getting to know the right apprenticeship provider, who are the experts, can bring you many benefits and we are so grateful for the support we get from City College Plymouth.”

Why is it important to have the right partners?

“The apprentices take what they learn from the classroom environment and apply it in a real and purposeful way. If both sides of the equation, the college and the business don’t collaborate well, then the programme will fail.  Speaking in terms of the world of  hospitality, by working tightly together there becomes more relevant and rigorous training and qualifications that really mean something.

The future within our sector cannot be depicted only by bricks and mortar as we strive for 5*, but by passion, enthusiasm and young people who understand their value and who are inspired to turn their passions into a profession that matters.”

Five Minutes With | Hospitality Does HR

Our favourite five minute interviews with Plymouth’s  finest…

What is it really like to work in hospitality..?

Each week, the New Continental Hotel will hold five-minute interviews, allowing these hospitality gurus to prove that this sector really is the perfect place to be…

Today we sit back, we kick off our shoes and we get down to ‘business’!

Name: Nikki
Position: Human Resources & Accounts Manager

How long have you worked in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector?
I have been working within the sector for 30 years!

How does it feel being part of the New Continental Hotel Family?
It’s really nice to know that you are working for a company that cares so much about their staff and the experience of their guests. It’s a small team, smaller than anyone ever expects, but we are all always ready to help, step in and support each other. We may be small, but together we are mighty!

The development and regeneration of the city…

There are lots of changes planned for Plymouth in the gear up to 2020, how might this affect you and your department?
What has always been so good about working for an independent company is that you can organically shift and reshape to ensure you are always robust and fit for purpose. The development and regeneration within the city shows our guests a true sense of pride in Plymouth and that is an amazing thing to be part of.

Tell us about a day in your life?
Every day is different, one day someone might come in to talk about something exciting that is happening in their department; and another day it may be that someone needs a shoulder to cry on because they are having a bad day. Mix that with my day to day accounts role, processing and balancing figures – and all I can say is that not any one day is ever the same!

You have a unique role – can you tell us a little about it?
It’s shaped into what it is today over the years. As the Human Resources Manager I provide support & guidance to the team across all spectrum’s of the HR function, while managing & developing our staff alongside the HODs (Heads Of Departments). The role assists in the development and delivery of human resource projects within the hotel and Club Continental as well as plans and tactics that improve overall Organisational capability and performance. Then, my Finance & Accounts part of the role is helping the Finance Director to ensure robust and effective forecasting, reporting and management of income and expenditure.

Sounds like a lot of work! What would you say is the most rewarding part of your role?
From a HR point of view there really is nothing more rewarding than watching a member of staff achieve what they have been striving for. Watching departments grow and seeing staff propel themselves and advance in what they do through training, mentoring and support.

What’s the future of hospitality?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope still here, doing what I enjoy for a family I really enjoy working for, within a sector that has always been ‘my’ sector!

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into our sector?
GO FOR IT! Yes, the hours can be long but there are so many opportunities – including 9-5 jobs!

There is a myth that comes with the hospitality sector – yes there are some roles that are more ‘unsociable’ than others – but many times you get paid to BE sociable!

Seeing happy guests, being part of holiday memories and working within a team that is so supportive makes everything worth it. Hospitality is by far the best sector to be involved in – I love it.

I would also recommend seeing the difference between independent and chain settings. They really vary and some people feel more at home with the uniformity and structure of a chain, whilst others like the autonomy and creativity of an independent.

Five Minutes With | Hospitality Does Fitness…

Whats it really Like working in hospitality..?

Each week, the New Continental Hotel will hold five-minute interviews, allowing these hospitality gurus to prove that this sector really is the perfect place to be.

So, settle comfortably as we delve into our first  five-minute interview with our Club Continental Manager…

Name: Adam Position: Manager of Club Continental

How long have you worked in the Tourism & Hospitality Sector?
I have worked within the Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality sector for over 22 years.

How does it feel being part of the New Continental Hotel Family?
To be absolutely honest, it’s like a second home for me. It feels like one big happy family and I am truly proud to be part of it.
There are lots of changes planned for Plymouth in the gear up to 2020, how might this affect you and your department? Plymouth is a beautiful city and it is fantastic to watch its growth over the years. There are interesting times ahead, especially with all the redevelopments going on. Hopefully with all the plans I have in place for Club Continental we can successfully continue to grow and strengthen our brand whilst ensuring all of our members continue to benefit from the club and the city alike.

What’s involved in running a Leisure Club..?

Tell us about a day in your life?
A typical day consists of: Up at 5am On PT days I will have my first client (s) at 6am, then steady throughout the day, combining that with coaching and running Club Continental. I always make time for my own training sessions too!

What does running Club Continental look like?
I am responsibility for personal health, safety and welfare of staff, members and guests. As well as the overall management of Club Continental; for all aspects of the business as well as its future growth. Although part of the New Continental Hotel, we have a separate budget and different methods of working. The sector is one of few that are able to straddle the changes in trends to ensure we are always relevant, so keeping my finger on global trends and what’s hot and not within my practise is really important. Our clients at Club Continental and members have very different demands, desires and needs, so I work hard to make sure we are fit for purpose for everyone.

It’s a busy job, with a huge amount of challenges but with that also comes some really exciting opportunities. I see the Health & Fitness sector growing exponentially in coming years’; I really believe it is on-track to become a vehicle that reconnects people and creates community, so there’s a lot of potential and huge gains to be made. It’s an exciting time.

“Helping people develop and achieve their goals…”

What’s the most rewarding/enjoyable part of your job?
Helping people develop and achieve their goals. I think I am also most proud of the community we have built within the Club. The way that my staff empower the members and guests to make dramatic life changes and achieve their own body and fitness goals. My team and I have built a strong business over the years and I honestly put that down to the fact we all really care. I know with their hard work, passion and commitment Club Continental will go from strength to strength. My team are also what makes my job so enjoyable. They all individually work hard to achieve their own goals and always bring with them an amazing energy. They all really champion the Club ethos.
I’m so proud of the community we’ve built.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I will carry on doing what I am doing, helping build the Club and continue to run AD Fitness & Performance.

What can people do to get into hospitality..?

What advice would you give anyone looking to get into our sector?
If you work hard and stay focused you can do anything. This is a great sector to be in if your natural aptitudes are geared towards health and fitness, we basically share our knowledge & passion with people, in a setting that feels like home! There are outstanding people joining our industry, all passionate about what they do. I love the different styles and influences they bring with them, my advice would always be do what you love.  From YouTube Vloggers to Instagram Masters – use what you know as your point of difference and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t.

If you can, experience Uni!  Keep your values and invest in the right people – we’re lucky enough to have staff that have been here for years and that is because they really look after our guests and members and really care about them. That’s not just a line, they genuinely care.



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