Brendan Moffett, Director of the University of Derby’s Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism

The power of degree apprenticeships in helping to boost the hospitality sector.

The recently-announced Tourism Sector Deal is the catalyst needed to support government and industry working in partnership to boost productivity and develop the skills of the UK workforce.

While ambitious, the Deal sets outa clear plan to “generate good jobs and greater earning power for all”.

It focuses on ensuring high-quality training is available, so that the tourism and hospitality sector can attract, retain and develop a workforce with the skills it needs both now and in the future.

For a sector which is facing crucial challenges in the recruitment and retention of staff, this is extremely positive news. The hospitality sector is the third largest in the UK, employing more than 3.2million people.

Forecasts have identified as many as one million additional employees will be needed over the next two years, which means the pressure is on to develop a highly-skilled workforce, fostering those skills so individuals are able to fulfil their career ambitions, while plugging the existing skills shortage.

Changing perceptions of the hospitality industry

Here at the University of Derby we are excited by the development of the first Hospitality Apprenticeship Week earlier this month, set up by the National Apprenticeship Service.

We believe it will start to positively shift perceptions among young people, parents, teachers and other influencers, that the industry is limited to low-paid, part-time jobs.

Apprenticeships are undoubtedly a key part of promoting hospitality as a career of choice and providing an alternative pathway into senior level roles, as well as entry level.

Universities UK’s recent report The Future of Degree Apprenticeships highlights these programmes as a “growing success story”, with the number of people taking up degree apprenticeships increasing at a rapid rate.

We have been working closely with industry partners and are excited to be unveiling a BA (Hons) Hospitality Management and Leadership (Apprenticeship) programme in readiness for 2020. The programme will engage with the main disciplines of management and leadership but rooted in the context of the hospitality sector.

This is being shaped by leading employers and professional bodies to offer an apprenticeship and work-based learning route that delivers against the current needs of the sector.

The content and structure provides an academically challenging and work relevant degree, encompassing the real issues involved in successfully maintaining and progressing a career pathway within the hospitality sector.

Degree apprenticeships offer a cost-effective way to train, develop and upskill a workforce, a way to motivate staff and improve job satisfaction, and a way to improve staff retention rates.

Earning at the same time as learning is a key incentive for young people; they are given high-quality on-the-job training delivered alongside degree-level academic learning while they work towards a nationally recognised qualification.

Higher level skills are needed to support the attraction and retention of talent

Research shows that staff retention in hospitality is at just 70 per cent, against a UK average of 85 percent, with unsociable working hours, low pay and benefits, and lack of career prospects the top three reasons.

The need for higher level skills to support the attraction and retention of talent, therefore, has never been more imperative. Many people working in the hospitality sector, while having worked in industry for years and are skilled in what they do, have no formal qualifications.

Degree apprenticeships help ensure the sector is maximising the available talent pool, while encouraging people to stay within the workforce, and pursue key roles in management and leadership.

It could be argued that the hospitality sector needs the status of a degree level subject to attract and retain people, and degree apprenticeships are a way of offering that solution.

Greater awareness is needed among employers about the benefits of degree apprenticeships and making the most of the Apprenticeship Levy. Equally as important, is the need to engage with children from a young age about career pathways and options – and ensure degree apprenticeships are not perceived inferior to traditional three-year degrees.

The hospitality industry offers some of the most diverse and rewarding careers in the UK, and I hope, that by bringing employers and industry leaders together for Hospitality Apprenticeship Week, the positive difference apprenticeships can have on the lives of individuals are promoted and celebrated.

Brendan Moffett, Director of the University of Derby’s Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page