Casual Dining Group (CDG) has further developed its industry leading learning and development programme by adding a range of new courses in partnership with UK universities, following the promotion of Claire Clarke to group HR director.
Previously the people director – concessions, franchising and central at CDG, Mrs Clarke is now responsible for overseeing all strategic HR decisions across CDG.
The company said the appointment is a direct result of the implementation of the new learning and development programmes.
The additions to the programme demonstrate CDG’s commitment to investing in its people and attracting quality talent into the hospitality industry and across all areas of its business, with a particular focus on marketing, strategy and finance.
The first of the new programmes, a BA (Hons) business management degree run in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, enables operations managers and support centre leaders to complete a fully-funded degree alongside their day job.
This 30-month course, which is open to all qualifying employees, has 12 spaces and combines an honour’s degree and apprenticeship levels 5 and 6, with both practical and classroom learning to give candidates the skill set they need to progress within the business.
Alongside the business management programme, CDG has also introduced a chef programme at University College Birmingham, targeting students completing level 2 and above and providing them with a gateway to work at CDG’s core brands.
Finally, CDG has introduced an Elevate programme, targeted at high-performing general managers within the business that are looking to progress to multi-site leaders.
The course, which has 12 spaces, upskills employees over a year long programme split into four modules, that provide insights into areas of the business they may not get exposure to. Each applicant will be assigned a personal tutor for the duration of the course.
All of these programmes have been designed to complement CDG’s Leadership Academy programme that was initially launched at Bella Italia before being rolled out across the business.
The academy consists of three programmes; Stepping up, Emerging Leader and Future leader, aimed at all levels within the business looking to progress to the next level.
Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, said: “Our employees are the beating heart of our business and we’re dedicated to investing in them and providing them with the courses and tools they need to progress. Equally important is attracting quality talent into the hospitality industry and demonstrating the range and wealth of opportunities available in our vibrant sector. I firmly believe these courses will help us with these focuses.
“There is a real appetite in the business to offer more training and development programmes, and build on the excellent work of our HR teams. Working with universities allows us to share knowledge and best practice and put together industry-leading programmes that attract and retain the best employees.”
Other existing training programmes CDG offer include bespoke apprenticeship schemes, in partnership with Remit Training, that support the career development for existing staff and new recruits in kitchen, front of house and management roles.
It also offers a programme in partnership with Heathrow Employment & Skills Academy, providing recruitment, apprenticeships and training for employers who operate at Heathrow Airport – the courses provide a number of modules, from customer service training to learning a foreign language.