Apprenticeship Programs

A Strategy to Expand Your Talent Pool

In 2016, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the American Hotel & Lodging Association partnered to create career opportunities through the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) project, which is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program is officially underway and here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Why apprenticeship?
According to the NRAEF, registered apprenticeship is an employer-driven model that combines on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction to increase skill level and economic mobility. Apprenticeships are a proven solution for companies to recruit, train, and retain highly skilled workers—and it is a way to put employees on a career path that will encourage them to stay and advance in hospitality-sector jobs.

Apprenticeship provide a framework for building a pipeline of skilled employees.
Restaurant partners so far include Firehouse Subs, Golden Corral, TGI Friday’s, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, and White Castle. Hotel partners span DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton, and Waldorf Astoria.

What are the benefits for employers?
According to John Shortt, NRAEF director of program development, the business case for HSRA is impressive:

  • Highly skilled employees developed using a nationally approved training model created by industry, for industry.
  • Reduced turnover costs as 9 out of 10 apprentices remain employed after completing their program.
  • Attract potential employees from additional talent pools.
  • Access to funding through local workforce boards that help fund wages and training of the apprentices.
  • Technical assistance and support from national associations and their vast network of resources, at no cost to you.

Who qualifies for an apprenticeship?
Qualified apprentices must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED equivalency and follow any other prerequisites that exist for the employer running the apprenticeship program. Employers can bring current employees into the apprenticeship program or make new hires, whichever they prefer.

What are the benefits for employees?
In addition to gaining valuable industry skills, the apprentice will receive two nationally recognized professional certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and either the NRAEF or ALHA at the conclusion of the apprenticeship. Lodging apprentices also will have the opportunity to earn two additional certificates from the AHLA. •