Hospitality Apprenticeship Week 2021: Restaurateur urges business owners to consider hiring apprentices

A RESTAURANT owner is urging hospitality business leaders to consider hiring apprentices.

George Purnell, who runs Waterlooville-based casual dining restaurant and cocktail bar, Koop+Kraft, has recently taken on two new staff members, who are joining the team through apprenticeships.

He has hired Jayda Mickiewicz, who has taken up a business admin role and Sean Curran who joins as a commis chef.

George has found that the industry has been particularly hard hit over the last months, with recruitment being one of the main issues hospitality businesses have faced and is planning to work around that problem by bringing in a fresh generation of hardworkers that he will train up from scratch.

He said: ‘Hospitality has had it really hard throughout the pandemic, having been closed and reopened time and time again and facing so much uncertainty, which we are continuing to face now with Brexit challenges being thrown our way.

‘One of the challenges has been finding skilled workers who are looking for long-term careers in the industry, rather than just a “quick-fix” job to pay the bills while they look for something more permanent.’

George wants to remove the stigma around people who work in bars, restaurants and other catering venues not having ‘real jobs’.

He said: ‘I’m really passionate about proving to people that hospitality can be a credible career choice and abolishing the idea that it isn’t a real job. Hopefully having these apprentices will show people – both those looking for work and those recruiting – that it is possible to work really hard and create a successful career in hospitality.

‘There are so many opportunities to be had in this industry, and I’d urge every person who is struggling to find decent staff to consider taking people on and training them up on an apprenticeship basis. It will mean that the industry will eventually have more skilled workers that are fresh and eager to learn more and put the work in. It will only benefit hospitality across the UK.’

George is looking into creating more roles for apprentices at Koop+Kraft throughout the coming months.