Careers in Hospitality for the Service Leaver

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) delivers learning and development for today’s managers in a wide range of businesses and many members of the Armed Forces will be familiar with its courses and qualifications.

One industry that welcomes ex-service personnel with open arms is the hospitality business. It is one of the few remaining areas where someone can join at grass roots level with minimal qualifications and still reach the top.

The lifestyle is also suited to the disciplined methods of working of former military personnel. Trustworthiness and the ability to work without supervision is paramount. So is the willingness to work outside normal office hours and gain additional qualifications.

London bar group Be At One cocktail bars has announced that from May 2013, they will become the first company in the bar industry to offer an accredited vocational qualification for their managers.

This programme is being delivered by Andy Maggs, MD of Arema who are accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). The ILM offer nationally recognised qualifications designed to bring tangible business benefits through their strong emphasis on practical skills and assessment. The programme, which has been tailored specifically to meet the needs of Be At One’s growing business, will challenge each individual learner, giving them the practical skills and confidence to contribute more to the company.

Be At One heavily invests in the development of their employees; each bartender undergoes eight weeks of intensive training at a cost of £5,000 to ensure they have all the skills necessary to deliver the 200 cocktails on their menu. Managers receive a further eight weeks of training which will enable them to manage their teams and grow their business with this programme becoming available to all existing General Managers and has been created to develop them even further.

Graham McDonnell, HR Manager: “Our sector has so many fantastic employees who decided to pursue a career within hospitality instead of further education. They develop into management roles and have the ability to go further, however the lack of a formal qualification can restrict their progress. Our hope is to offer our managers the opportunity to truly fulfil their potential whilst they are with us, and enable them to utilise their skills when they move on.”

Be At One opened their 17th bar recently, their first bar outside the capital in Reading. The other 16 bars are located in in Battersea, Richmond, Covent Garden, Balham, Hammersmith, Putney, Soho, Clapham Common, Spitalfields, Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Monument, Guildhall, Smithfield Fenchurch Street and Islington.

City and Guilds also offers a ride range of qualifications in the hospitality business. It offers a whole host of hospitality and catering qualifications including professional cookery, food safety, butlering, bartending, barista skills and more, designed to suit different learning needs across every sector within the Hospitality & Catering industry.

Its portfolio of qualifications has been developed in conjunction with industry experts who have helped shape their continuing development, making them highly valued by employers throughout the UK.

The qualifications receive support and recognition from employers including Unilever, Marriott, Nestlé, Russums, the Army, Michelin* restaurants, and Kenco.

City & Guilds has sssociations with Craft Guild of Chefs, Academy of Culinary Arts, World Association of Chefs (WACs), PACE, Academy of Food & Wine, Institute of Hospitality and British Culinary Federation.

The World Association of Chefs (WACs) is providing the opportunity for City & Guilds approved centres delivering the 7,100 Professional Cookery qualification to become a WACs accredited centre, giving those centres worldwide recognition.

Each of its qualifications benefits from the strong support offer provided.

HIT Training is dedicated to providing training in the hotel and catering industry through its extensive industry experience.

HIT was founded by a small group of directors who successfully established and developed ‘Hospitality Plus’, which became the major training provider for the hospitality and leisure industries prior to its sale.

Like its trainers and assessors, everyone has worked in the industry, gaining valuable experience and understanding of what learners and employers need from both perspectives. HIT has supported over 30,000 learners at over 7,000 employer sites across the country.

The company’s aims are simple: to help employers increase the effectiveness and profitability of their staff, to develop learners’ personal, economic and social status and to enhance the level of service given to their customers and clients. This is reflected in the success of its learners and the quantifiable improvements and benefits for their employers.

The company offers a range of BTEC vocational qualifications for every aspect of the industry ranging from chefs, food and beverage, bar staff and front of house to housekeeping, management and supervision and customer service.

If you’re starting a course on or after 1st August 2013 you may qualify for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. These loans help you to pay the fees charged by approved colleges and training organisations in England. Most learners aged 24 and over, studying at Level 3 or Level 4 or an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship, will qualify for these new loans from the UK government. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check. You won’t have to pay anything back until your income is over £21,000 a year. For more information contact HIT on 08000 935 892 or visit website

Another source of information is The Institute of Hospitality. Founded as the Institutional Management Association in 1938, it is the professional body for individual managers and aspiring managers working and studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.

The Institute’s reputation as a membership organisation promoting quality standards and education spans more than 100 countries. From students to Fellows, the Institute continues to support members’ professional development throughout their careers, wherever they are in the world.

The Institute of Hospitality has developed a unique set of qualifications which provide industry focused training in management and leadership for the UK hospitality and tourism industries.

The awards provide flexible units of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which build up into nationally accredited qualifications at Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels. The qualifications form part of the Sector Qualifications Strategy for People 1st.

Learners interested in registering for individual units or a whole qualification can view the Institute’s Guide to Qualifications by visiting www.instituteof Service leavers with catering experience will find this organisation of particular interest.


Images: © Nickola_Che / Kzenon /  auremar /