LEISURE operator Cairn Group has launched its own national training programme creating apprenticeships and opening up career development opportunities.

Cairn Academy offers apprenticeships across the group’s UK-wide hotel portfolio for people at varying stages in their careers, along with a dedicated approach to management and leadership progression.

The academy has been developed by Cairn Group, with support from training and apprenticeships specialist Lifetime Training, and aims to encourage employees to grow with the business by providing access to expert training, support and guidance.

An initial cohort of 43 new and existing employees have been enrolled at hotels across the country, including The Old Ship Hotel in Brighton.

This first intake has seen Cairn Group enrol apprentice chefs, offering the chance to gain practical skills whilst on the job.

Existing supervisors and heads of department in housekeeping, leisure, reception and maintenance also make up the cohort. They will all take part in learning and development training initiatives to aid progression.

The employees are based at the group’s UK hotels and have been assigned a dedicated mentor.

They will take part in a 12 to 15 month training programme via a combination of online learning and coaching, with regular visits from a regional trainer and the support of their in house mentor, leading to a recognised qualification at the end of the process.

Cairn Academy will have two intakes per year with the next group set to enrol in spring 2018.

Richard Adams, HR director at Cairn Group, said: “Since the Apprenticeship Levy came into fruition in April, we have been working closely with Lifetime Training.

“We want to develop an initiative to best support our members of staff keen to grow with the business, and create apprenticeship opportunities to encourage more people to progress their careers in hospitality.”