Employers in the hospitality industry are being urged to support apprenticeships ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, which starts on Monday.
Chief executive of industry training provider Lifetime Training Alex Khan has called on the industry to recruit young apprentices, in support of the week-long awareness campaign, from 3 to 7 March.
Khan highlighted how his company's recruitment scheme helps place more than 100 apprentices a month into UK businesses, including through high-profile clients such as Hilton Worldwide.
He said: "Lifetime Training's dedicated team focuses on sourcing high calibre candidates for hospitality employer Apprenticeship programmes, easing the hassle that the recruitment process can bring."
The company assesses and trains over 20,000 learners every year, and works with brands such as Jurys Inn and Pizza Express.
Apprenticeships have been on the news agenda in recent months, as the government has sought to increase funding to employers who take them on and help train young people in hospitality roles.
In July last year, it was announced that companies with fewer than 1,000 employees would be able to make use of £1,500 extra funding via an Apprentice Grant, aiming to help them to recruit apprentices.
However, a report by Lancaster University in November suggested that the demand for apprenticeships was likely to far outstrip supply, and that the current model was not working for many young people, with just 6% of 16-18 year-olds enrolled in an apprenticeship in 2011. The report called for clearer guidance in the apprenticeship wage and their benefits for employees and staff.
Similarly, a study from the Edge Foundation this year suggested that many young people had been discouraged from following a potentially-suitable vocational study and career path by their careers advisors, amid misconceptions that "clever" people might not be suited to vocational work.
Now in its seventh year, National Apprenticeship Week 2014 aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships and their uses among teachers, employers, students and parents. Educational "toolkits" are available for download from the official website.