The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group has developed a number of initiatives in a bid to attract, train and retain staff including the launch of a new hospitality training academy.
The group, which comprises five hotels and a handful of holiday cottages that make up The Duke of Devonshire’s hospitality businesses, has reviewed its rates of pay, working patterns and created 33 new six-month placements under the government’s new Kickstart scheme.
The Devonshire Hospitality Academy will launch this autumn.
Designed to support all new employees, the in-house training programme will lead to an industry qualification at Level 2 Apprenticeship and the guarantee of a promotion to a permanent full-time role upon completion of the 18-month course.
Programme content will vary depending on role, but will be delivered monthly via workshops covering topics such as customer dining, foraging, social media, commercial awareness and mental health, with support provided by a member of the team.
Places will be awarded to staff starting full time hospitality roles at all businesses throughout the Group’s portfolio, across both the Chatsworth and Bolton Abbey Estates.
Rates of pay have also been reviewed and now reflect an individual’s contribution to the business, rather than statutory pay levels being the default.
Trainees will be offered a starting salary in line with their age. Once qualified, for example, a chef de partie, working a 48-hour week, can earn £25,858 per annum, plus gratuities of around £2,000.
The Devonshire Group introduced a four-day working week for chefs in 2017.
Richard Palmer, managing director of The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group commented: “The key message from me is that this is an invitation to gain invaluable life skills, which are transferable to many aspects of the hospitality industry, and beyond – for example, I know ex chefs who are now hotel managers, working as Head of Innovation, and MDs of foodservice companies. This grassroots approach is a viable and dynamic alternative to the traditional college route.
“The challenges of recent times have presented us all with a chance to look at things afresh, and seek more fulfilment from our working lives, and appreciate that there has never been a better time to learn new skills and join this dynamic industry. For those of us already established in our careers, now is the time to give others the benefit of our experience and share our passion.”
Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants includes The Devonshire Arms, The Devonshire Fell, The Chatsworth Hotel and The Devonshire Hotel and Spa.