Nurturing talent at EEF Venues
Faced with on-going challenges of recruiting craft-skilled chefs – a problem experienced right across the hospitality sector – EEF Venues chooses to invest in raw talent instead. The creation of diverse apprenticeship posts within the business – as well as several internal promotions - has been a strategic move to ensure a bright future for the group.
Succession planning for the future has seen two apprentices at Woodland Grange become full-time valued members of the team this year.
In Chaplin, general manager of Woodland Grange said:” There is no doubt that having apprentices is a big commitment in terms of time and resources but the advantages are many. For a start, we can take young talent and mould them to our quality standards. They know our ethos and expectations from the outset, and by providing the right training and mentoring, we see these young professionals grow within the business to become the next generation of valued staff.“
An Investor in People organisation, EEF Venues’ talent for people development was recognised early this year when Matthew Parsons, executive chef at Woodland Grange was named ‘Mentor of the Year’ in the National Apprenticeship Awards.
Internal promotions are also high across the EEF Venues group. One example is Ollie Nanchi, who started his career with EEF Venues at Engineers’ House as a front of house assistant and is now front of house manager. He went on to win a place on the MiaList earlier this year - an initiative by the Meetings Industry Association (mia) to identify the industry’s most inspiring and passionate people.
At Broadway House, Simon Widgery has gone from receptionist to conference and events manager.
Amanda Sutton, venue manager at Broadway House, said:” Developing and encouraging people increases their job satisfaction, motivates them to perform better and promotes ownership and involvement in the business. The more engaged the employee is the better they will perform and the continuity provided through succession planning will also give the business stability and forward vision.”
Martyn Bowen, venue manager at Engineers’ House in Bristol, agrees: “Investing in people is also about celebrating our teams and giving them credit for the great job they do, day-in, day-out across the venues.”