To meet our ambition to be the best in the UK for training and development we have created a clear career path with accredited training at every stage for our restaurant teams. We’re proud to say that in 2013 we enrolled our 1,000th apprentice. Ultimately, we want all our training to be accredited. We support employees studying for external qualifications that will help them develop personally and professionally in a number of ways, including financial support and flexible scheduling to allow time for studies.
Apprenticeships for Team Leaders
The right training can turn a job into a career. We offer all team leaders the opportunity to train for an Advanced NVQ Apprenticeship in hospitality management, which is the equivalent of two A-levels. The 12-month programme equates to 496 hours of study per candidate. We were the first in our sector to work with City & Guilds to develop a qualification for our functional skills. Team leaders who go through the programme are more confident and technically competent, particularly with the financial and numerical aspects of running a shift. The rigorous scheme allows participants to study maths and English as well as hospitality management.
Regular coaching and development sessions with their line manager and regional training manager support our apprentices every step of the way. We also assign external online tutors to mentor apprentices in mathematics and English. To date, we have 254 qualified apprentices and a further 742 on the programme.
We plan to make the Advanced Apprenticeship available to some of our franchise partners in 2014.
Apprenticeships for Team Members
Building on the success of our Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme, in 2013 we began to introduce a level-two apprenticeship for team members. Equivalent to five GCSEs, the programme is similar in content and process to the Advanced qualification and provides team members with the opportunity to consolidate their technical expertise with a nationally recognised qualification. We currently have 102 Apprentices and expect a further 4 per quarter per restaurant to enrol. We anticipate 1,200 apprentices will therefore go through the programme annually. In addition, our in-house training for team members and team leaders is accredited by City and Guilds.
We’re already seeing the business benefits of apprenticeships, with hourly-paid employee turnover reducing from 59% in 2010 to 49% at the end of 2012. In addition, 70% of our Advanced Apprenticeship graduates have been promoted within 12 months.
In 2012, we were recognised by the National Apprenticeship Scheme in partnership with City and Guilds as one of the Top 100 Apprenticeship employers. This award recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices.
In 2012, we introduced a bespoke three-year BA (Hons) Business Management course in partnership with De Montfort University, Leicester. This degree is specifically designed for our restaurant managers and combines existing KFC training, which counts for 40 university credits, with core lectures from De Montfort’s Business Management degree. The degree rewards our best performers and gives people who lacked the opportunity to go to university after school the chance to gain a qualification for the skills they have built with us.
A representative from human resources mentors each degree student and supports them through their studies, as well as helping them develop a plan for progressing their career following the degree. Currently, 22 restaurant managers and area coaches are studying for the degree. KFC paid half their university fees, gives them paid time off for lectures and covers their travel and accommodation expenses. We hope to put 60 managers through the course over the next five years.
“The chance to do this degree for me is a chance to study with other restaurant managers from all over the country, learning more about our business and understanding what goes into the decision making processes. I’m thrilled I get to learn how to grow myself and my business.”
Sixty-three year old Margaret Partridge left school after her O-Levels in 1967 and started working in for KFC in 1986, taking a part-time job when the amusement park she worked in closed for the winter. She has been a KFC manager for 17 years.
Margaret runs KFC in Oldbury, West Midlands and works as a regional trainer for new staff. Although Margaret has completed a couple of night-school courses outside work, she never considered a degree until she found out that KFC was launching the bespoke, employer-funded qualification. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so there was no reason not to go for it. I’m so thrilled to be selected.”
Studying Business Management will help Margaret and the other managers gain a better understanding of KFC, and the business world in general. “It will help me learn about the bigger picture, but also help with my decision-making and how I analyse people. That’s so important when you’re training people.”
Russell Curtis joined the company as a restaurant manager in January 2012. He has already been promoted to area coach at the age of just 27, overseeing some of the company’s busiest restaurants in Nottingham. After gaining two A-Levels in Hospitality & Catering and IT, Russell contemplated studying IT at university, but decided against it after attending a few open days.
“I didn’t think I’d enjoy the university lifestyle so I went straight into work,” he says. “I regretted my decision almost immediately, but by then it was too late.”
“I’ve always enjoyed learning, and recently taught myself sign-language, but I thought university had passed me by. It’s amazing that KFC has not only given us this opportunity, but is also helping to fund it.” Russell admits that “the prospect of learning whilst also contributing to my career progression is really exciting.”