Stonegate plots way to reduce turnover of kitchen staff

Stonegate Pub Company is hoping to turn its top chefs into inspired leaders and improve staff retention in the process after rolling out a dedicated training programme across its operations.

The new Level Four management training programme is the latest addition to its ‘Albert’s Theory of Progression’ scheme for kitchen teams, which was first launched at the end of last year.

The bespoke scheme, created by Stonegate’s apprenticeship manager, Jemelle Bish, and back-of-house training manager, Rhona Symon, is currently comprised of three levels.

It takes budding chefs and kitchen managers from a basic induction course through to Level Two, covering food operations and processes involved in running a kitchen, which takes six months to complete.

Participants can then progress to Level Three, run in partnership with Remit Training, which covers areas such as leadership skills, marketing and sales, financial operations, operating procedures and menu design, people management and customer service.

The new Level Four management training programme, which lasts for 18 months, is aimed at experienced chefs and kitchen managers. It was created in partnership with Remit Training to develop exceptional leaders who are able to inspire their teams to demonstrate and achieve the visions and objectives of the business.

Currently there are 107 members of staff on the Level 2 programme, 59 on Level 3 and 38 people who have been assessed and are on the waiting list ready to start Level 4 this month.

Mrs Bish said: “Turnover amongst kitchen staff is often fairly high, but we have seen a significant increase in staff retention and engagement since the launch of Albert’s Evolution. The addition of Level Four means that we can offer back-of-house staff a full career pathway which is the equivalent of a vocational degree.

“We’re determined to raise the profile of careers in the hospitality industry and committed to investing in our people and providing them with a clear career path. We’re really proud of all those who have completed the training so far and excited about the future for our Level Four graduates.”

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