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Guest Contributor - Catch 22, about 2 years ago

The hospitality sector's economic output was down by 90% in April 2020, with a £53 billion annual loss of sales. Despite this, the sector has adapted to social distancing, with advances in technology and takeaway services - there is great opportunity in its recovery.

As part of this recovery, Catch22 created Step22, a specialist hospitality brand of our Apprenticeships team to support the hospitality sector in revitalising and reinvigorating their businesses. This is also a solution in tackling the recruitment crisis faced by800,000 young people, including young people with experience of the justice system, out of work in the UK.

What is Step22?

Step22 is a recruitment and training solution that gets people into great jobs in the hospitality sector, funded by the apprenticeship levy. It helps businesses source and train staff to significantly improve retention and staffing costs.

Step22 will draw upon the experience of Catch22 apprenticeships, but will focus solely on the hospitality industry, and we are creating the best apprenticeships available in the sector. We are already working alongside industry experts such as Diageo and Compass Group to design the most engaging, relevant and impactful apprenticeship programmes available to employers.

- Chris Stoker-Jones, director of Vocational Training, Catch22

Step22 is also working with the likes of Switchback, an award-winning charity that supports young Londoners to find a way of the justice system, and Social Pantry, who provide sustainable employment for ex-offenders within their organisation.

Opportunities in the hospitality industry

While other industries struggle to make a comeback, the hospitality industry has great prospects as the public's longing to be in restaurants, pubs and spaces that connects them will always remain.

Step22 is a great opportunity to be part of meaningful and sustainable employment within the sector. Their programmes provide a blended delivering approach that encompasses both face-to-face learning as well as online tutorials and hospitality specific modules on their StepUp your Learning digital platform.

All Step22 apprentices receive high-quality coaching & training bespoke to the role within their company, which ensures the relationship between the employer and Step22 is one of collaboration and co-design enabling high levels of achievement and progression for learners.

Why apprenticeships are important

Apprenticeships benefit the apprentice, the employer and the economy. By improving the skills, wages and career progression for the apprentice, we see an improvement to the productivity of organisations. There is also the public benefit of apprenticeships that can increase economic growth.

Apprenticeships are a great way to bridge the skills gap between what we need and the current state of preparedness that many isolated but eager young people find themselves positioned.

-Iqbal Wahhab, restaurant owner.

Apprenticeships are important to the hospitality industry and are a way of tackling youth unemployment.

Apprenticeships are a vital part of the employment landscape – and particularly in this period of high youth unemployment. It is therefore concerning that apprenticeship starts are dropping.What's vital is that, during the drive to help young people into work, the huge benefit and potential of apprenticeships to provide sustainable roles that help businesses move forward, is not forgotten.

- Chris Stoker-Jones, director of Vocational Training, Catch22.

Learn what Step22 can offer and download an example of an apprenticeship delivery guide.