HOSPITALITY businesses in York have helped the York Apprenticeship Challenge reach its target of creating 100 new apprenticeship opportunities in 100 days.

Babcock, a training company which offers apprenticeship programmes across a wide range of sectors including hospitality, care, active leisure, retail, business administration and customer service, has secured 32 new apprentice placements with local businesses.

The York Apprenticeship Challenge was launched by The Press, City of York Council and the National Apprenticeship Service, on June 15. One month before the end of the 100-day challenge, the city’s businesses have helped the campaign to reach its target, with more apprenticeships still to be announced.

One of the latest apprentices is Shane Wood, an employee of Harkers in York, which is owned by pub company Mitchells & Butler.

The management team has supported several of the team through their qualifications and Shane will now undertake a team-leading apprenticeship.

Jess Barker, relief manager at Harkers, said: “It is a great opportunity for him and he has my full support throughout.”

Babcock is also working with the Aldwark Arms, where the manager Nick Mitchell and one of his team, Jessica Hancock, are undertaking apprenticeship programmes. Jess is currently doing her food and drink service apprenticeship.

Nick said: “I am more than happy to support Jess with her apprenticeship programme. It is something she has asked to do and she is clearly happy to be taking part in this programme.”

York Marriott Hotel also has seven employees undergoing apprenticeship programmes in housekeeping, customer service, business administration, hospitality supervision and leadership. Cluster director of human resources Sally Ryan said they were keen to ensure the apprenticeship opportunity is available to all employees.

The other hospitality businesses which have helped the campaign succeed include the Old White Swan; Park Inn; Toby Carvery; Exhibition Hotel; Monk Bar Hotel and Cross Keys, Goodramgate.

City of York Council has created 35 positions, the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) created 21, and other businesses creating positions as part of the campaign have included MyScience, Harrowells Solicitors, Hunters Property Group, David Wilson Homes, York Medical Group, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.