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Young apprentices can become the face of industry, says REC Hospitality

Young apprentices can become the face of industry, says REC Hospitality
As National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) reaches its peak, the Recruitment and Employment Confederations (REC) group representing recruiters in the hospitality sector has weighed in to support the initiative.
The group is advocating apprenticeships as a vital route for attracting young talent to the industry. By providing young people with the right training at an early stage in their careers, businesses in the sector can benefit from a home-grown talent pipeline. As part of the REC, the group has pledged its support and welcomed the Governments goal to source 100,000 new apprenticeships by 2014.
Commenting on the initiative Suzanne Letting, Chair of REC Hospitality said:
As the figures in the latest Report on Jobs by the REC show, our industry is coming back after two extremely difficult years. Demand for both permanent and temporary staff rose at faster rates in January than we have seen for some time. 
Although there are encouraging signs, on the ground we still face difficulties in finding suitable candidates. Skills shortages are an ongoing issue for our industry and new pieces of legislation like the immigration cap, introduced in April, are expected to make things worse.     
She added: In order to sustain growth in the hospitality sector we need to invest now in the future of our industry our people. By giving highly motivated young individuals the opportunity to break into the world of work we provide them with much needed skills for employment. At the same time, businesses gain the opportunity to select, deliver and above all retain their talent once the necessary skills are acquired. In devising apprenticeship schemes we need to be able to provide clear career paths for our youth and make them feel that they have achieved something by being part of one.
Apprenticeships may take time to give a return on investment, but we need to take strategic decisions now in order to shape the face for our industry in the future. 
The RECs Youth Employment Taskforce produced its Avoiding a Lost Generation' report earlier in the year. This included practical recommendations to Government on upskilling young jobseekers.
Gaining experience though apprenticeships in real jobs was a core finding of the report. Other recommendations include revamping careers services, stimulating demand for new staff and raising awareness of the changing employment landscape.

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