De Vere defend apprenticeship programme

Hotel operator De Vere Group has come out in defence of its apprenticeship programme, following the announcement that they are under review.

Despite praising the “appropriate and valuable” contribution they make, NAS has confirmed that the programmes do not meet SASE and are “likely to change” with a new delivery model being worked on by both parties.

However, when contacted by FE Week the firm said they have helped address youth unemployment and achieved “outstanding” success rates.

A spokesman said: “We continue to work in close partnership with NAS and have been incredibly successful in training and developing hundreds of young people to really get started with their career in hospitality.

“As one of the largest independent hotel operators we know what industry needs. Working with our 370 industry partners, we have created a fantastic provision, which has been indicated to us by our apprentices.

“With outstanding achievement rates with some particularly challenging young people, we are proud to be helping address the national issue of youth unemployment.

“In Stockport, where the first Academy was launched, there has been a sustained reduction of five per cent in the numbers of NEETS in the region. This has been directly attributed to the work done by the Academy.

“The De Vere group is incredibly proud of the award winning Academy and we are, as always, in constant contact with our colleagues at NAS.”

A spokesman for NAS added: “The De Vere programme has already supported hundreds of young people. The most recent information indicates 60 per cent of participants remain in employment, with a further 10 per cent going on to further education/training.”