Tuesday, 31 January 2017

High quality training for your hotel staff

Inspired by its location, Watergate Bay Hotel has developed an ethos that’s at the heart of everything they offer: ‘active relaxation’, striking a balance between getting outdoors, being social and finding some quiet time.

Employing more than 250 staff their sense of hospitality is of providing an open house. Facilities within their 69 bedroom hotel include a 25-metre infinity pool, treatment rooms, a cafĂ© bar and cardio room, fitness classes. They also run active breaks. The food in their three restaurants – The Living Space, Zacry’s and The Beach Hut – makes the very best of seasonal Cornish produce.

What were the businesses issues/challenges to undertake training?
Watergate Bay Hotel partnered in the ‘Experts Grow’ project funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) along with Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, St Austell Brewery, Cornwall College and Visit Cornwall. The project aims to increase the productivity and perceived value of hospitality skills, and to develop professional opportunities within the hospitality industry.
UKCES identified the hospitality and retail sectors as industries with some of the lowest pay rates in the country. As many as one in three households in Cornwall has someone working in hospitality.
Watergate Bay Hotel aimed to use the resources of this project to invest in their own people-development to make a positive impact for members of their team.

The training undertook:
Watergate Bay Hotel invested in a wide range of training for their staff including a number of Level 2 and 3 NVQs in: Kitchen, Front Desk, Housekeeping, Bar and Restaurant. They also took on an IT Apprentice along with upskilling some of their Manager in TAQA qualifications to enable them to conduct their own in-house training in the future.

What impacts and benefits has the training had on the company?
The hotel set up their own ‘Watergate Bay Academy’ with a dedicated training coordinator. The Academy offers a wide range of job related qualifications to their current staff as well as being able to show new members of the team the training opportunities they present. They created a six-month induction plan for all new members of the team linking to annual appraisals. The Academy is also able to offer other team members who complete a Level 2 or 3 qualifications an increase in pay to acknowledge their progression and commitment. Investing in their team has improved productivity, customer experience and, ultimately, raised take-home pay for low paid workers.

“When we recruit we look for personality and a positive attitude as much as skills and experience. The college took this into consideration when shortlisting for our IT Apprentice role. Three of our kitchen staff has recently completed their level two NVQs which has led to another six of the team signing up to complete their qualifications. We have a number of front of house staff completing their level twos in different areas too, along with our heads of departments studying towards their TAQA qualifications. Watergate has become a real learning environment with current NVQ students inspiring future learners with the help of Cornwall College.”
Emma Neave, HR Manager Watergate Bay Hotel


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