Tortilla has reported that internal promotions are up 15% following the launch of an apprenticeship programme within the business.
Inspired by the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, the fast-casual restaurant chain developed a bespoke apprenticeship programme that upskills existing employees to enter senior leadership positions.
Tortilla’s head of people, Nicki Sahota, says the scheme has improved crew engagement and satisfaction, and become a key recruitment tool.
“Before launch, 48% of crew were internally promoted to management positions and we’re now at 63%,” Sahota said.
The new programme has also ensured the company could allocate its pre-paid Levy funds.
“If you don’t use these funds, you lose them,” Sahota added. “Luckily we managed to use all our 2017 funds before they expired, and we’re on track to use the rest of the year’s allocations as we expand the programme.”
Tortilla currently has 20% of crew supervisors enrolled in the programme and to date they’ve had 100% retention.
Focusing on developing supervisors and assistant managers in finance, leadership and operations, the programme incorporates various training modules and practical skill applications.
Managing director, Richard Morris, says crew satisfaction is a key priority of the business and the apprenticeship programme has become a key driver of that.
“Tortilla is all about people,” he insists. “Whether you’re a crew member rolling burritos on the line, a kitchen supervisor ensuring top-quality food production, or a manager running the show – every person hired at Tortilla is a key part of the family.”
Following the programme’s initial success, Tortilla plans to continue expanding the scheme by adding more accredited management courses and onboarding all new crew to the programme.