Leisure giant Whitbread PLC has announced plans to create 195 apprenticeships in the North East over the next five years.
The firm, which owns Costa and Premier Inn, said the new roles will form part of more than 6,000 apprenticeships to be created by 2020 across the UK, as well as the launch of a brand new apprenticeship scheme for Costa, the nation’s favourite coffee shop.
The Premier Inn apprenticeship scheme has been running since 2010 and has successfully delivered more than 1,100 apprenticeships to date with a further 950 trainees currently working towards their apprenticeship.
In the North East, 44 apprentices are currently in training with a target of 195 apprentices for the region by 2020.
In Newcastle alone, there are 20 apprentices with a commitment to raise this to 123 apprentices in the next five years.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “Our 45,000 team members are our greatest asset and it’s vital we invest in them, creating opportunities to develop their skills and build their careers.
“We will commit £5.7m to our apprenticeship programmes over the next five years.
“I firmly believe that investing in apprenticeships is essential to Whitbread’s future success and to the health of the UK economy, as well as helping the next generation to achieve their full potential.”
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, added: “There really has never been a better time to start an apprenticeship and it’s a huge leap forward to have Whitbread, one of Britain’s leading employers in the hospitality industry, hiring even more apprentices.
‘We want Apprenticeships to be level-pegging with a University degree giving millions more people the dignity of work and a regular pay packet.”