The Perceptions Group has acknowledged the role of companies such as Admiral Taverns, Greene King, Fuller’s, Stonegate Pub Company, Sprint Pub Company, Whiting and Hammond, who have already pledged their support for apprenticeships.

Keith Knowles, the chairman of the Perceptions Group and chief executive at Beds and Bars said: “It is brilliant that the pub and bar industry has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to young people through providing a broad variety of career opportunities and qualifications. Apprenticeships are often a vital first step for many young people, enabling them to learn valuable workplace and practical skills.

“Collectively we employ hundreds of thousands of young people through a myriad of entry routes. I would ask that any employer in licensed hospitality that is planning to employ young apprentices, between now and the end of the year, take time to register on the pledge website: http://nas.apprenticeships.org.uk/awards/apprenticeship-week-2015/pledgeform.aspx. Over the week we will hear a number of great announcements in support of apprenticeships, however what is important is to remember the impact an apprenticeship has on a young person.”

Knowles highlighted Craig Hawkes, demi chef de partie, who started his career as a pub chef apprentice with Whiting & Hammond, as an example of how well the apprenticeship schemes can benefit individuals and the sector.

Hawkes said: “I have learnt so many valuable practical and knowledge based skills during my apprenticeship at the Cricketers in Meopham, Kent, it has enabled me to move up and into my current position as a Demi Chef de partie, within just six-months. And alongside learning the skills required for a chef, I have learnt so much more about the industry. Whilst it has been hard work, it’s also been great fun with the close team in the kitchen.

Knowles said: “Companies big and small are making the investment. And with companies like Spirit Pub Company announcing a further 600 new Apprentices by July, in addition to the 750 qualified and the 630 who are already working towards the Level 2 Apprenticeship within their company, shows that we offer a pipeline to successful careers for those young people who have the drive and ambition to succeed.”