The Hospitality Guild is launching a new apprenticeship awards programme, which will recognise and celebrate the achievements of apprentices working in hospitality in England The awards, which are being held in partnership with sector skills council People 1st, will also look to emphasise the critical role that employers, providers and mentors play in the delivery of apprenticeships. They will look to identify the hospitality industry’s potential stars at different levels of their career journey. The categories will include intermediate apprentice of the year, employer of the year: SME (less than 250 employees), employer of the year: large (more than 250 employees) and partnership of the year. There is no charge to enter the awards and nominations must be submitted by 12 October 2012. Suzy Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild, said: “It’s high time that the role of organisations that fund, train and employ apprentices is recognised for their contribution to growing a new generation of hospitality professionals. “We’re witnessing a huge growth in the numbers of people completing apprenticeships. In the last year alone nearly 15% more people completed an apprenticeship with a hospitality employer. Over 26,000 people dedicated themselves to a programme of training while at work and tens of hundreds of companies have made these opportunities possible. “Apprenticeships are a valuable business tool that enable employers to create a precisely skilled workforce and a talent pipeline for the future. We are working with increasing numbers of hospitality employers to make sure that everyone can see how apprenticeships can benefit their business. At the same time we’re working to try to broaden the appeal of offering apprenticeships.”