Leicestershire Traded Service’s (LTS) catering operation has been recognised for its dedication to training and development at this year's national Public Sector Catering awards.
The awards, announced at a recent 'virtual' event, provided the chance to recognise and celebrate individuals, teams, companies and organisations who are making a difference to and improving the catering industry within the public sector.
LTS catering, which is part of Leicestershire County Council’s trading arm, achieved the Training and Apprenticeship award, which celebrates organisations that have made training and integral part of their growth and development.
The winning entry from LTS catering detailed how they have harnessed talent by growing the workforce by 40 per cent between 2017 and 2020, broken barriers by offering alternative apprenticeship hours and dispelled myths by encouraging and motivating anyone of any age to consider catering as a career path.
Jackie Manship, LTS Catering manager, said: “We feel honoured and proud to be recognised for our efforts towards training and development. It would not be possible without our fantastic apprentices and their great success stories which we have the privilege of being able to tell.
"We’re firm believers in encouraging everyone who’s not sure of their next employment move to consider apprenticeships, they really can change your life.
"As a team we’re very lucky to work with brilliant people and have access to great opportunities, thanks to our supporting organisations.
"Some team members have had the experience of training in Michelin star restaurants, cooking alongside renowned chefs and being given the opportunity to be recognised for their skills through formal qualifications.”
Back in 2017, LTS catering took another step on their apprenticeship journey by being one of the first employers to offer new Chef Apprenticeship Standards.
The Level 2 Intermediate Production Chef and Level 3 Advanced Level Senior Production Chef standards are now an integral part of their training and development programme with 30 chefs completing the new Chef Apprenticeship to date.
Councillor Byron Rhodes, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “LTS catering are paving the way in the catering industry and this latest achievement recognises the team for their outstanding commitment to training and development. It underpins the council’s ethos of being an inclusive and supportive workplace.
“This good news is a welcome achievement and my thanks go to all of those involved thato help make these apprenticeships seamless and ultimately successful.”
LTS catering have had 176 individuals complete apprenticeships and have an additional 33 apprentices currently on their skills journey.
More than 40 per cent of employees have gone on to secure promotions or a senior role after completing an apprenticeship and LTS catering’s average uptake of the apprenticeship programme is 17.8 per cent, well above the government national minimum which is 2.3 per cent.