Your browser is unsupported and may have security vulnerabilities! Upgrade to a newer browser to experience this site in all it's glory.
Skip to main content

Abbie aims to become a hospitality high-flier after landing Concord management programme place

York College apprentice Abbie Newsam is aiming to become a high-flier in the hospitality industry after landing a place on Concord Hotels’ prestigious Management Development Programme.

Launched in 1968, the programme has an outstanding reputation in the hotel industry and, after completing our Level 2 Hospitality Team Member Apprenticeship, Abbie can look forward to receiving on-the-job training during three eight-month placements at different hotels within the group.

She will also receive a competitive salary with accommodation provided and 70% of trainees from the two-year programme, which is endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality, go on to secure a post at a Concord member hotel they have trained in.

It represents a brilliant opportunity for Abbie, who freely admits that she couldn’t even balance a tray when she decided to switch from a Childcare course at College to the Hospitality apprenticeship.

On her excitement at winning a place on the programme, the 18-year-old from Malton said: “I was a bit shocked, but it feels amazing. I considered applying for the Food & Beverage programme that Concord also offer, but I like to challenge myself and I want to push for the very top of the industry and show that I have done something with my life.

“I first heard about the programme when Concord did a presentation at College. It caught my eye, and I thought that it sounded good.

“A few months later, I looked online and read about people who had completed it, so I thought I’d put in an application just thinking, ‘We’ll see how it goes’ but, then, they got back to me quite quickly and I went to an interview and was offered a place!”

Abbie will receive just six weeks’ notice of where in the country she will be posted for each of her three placements, adding: “That will feel a bit weird, but it’s exciting as well.”

She will stay either at the hotel or in nearby staff accommodation and is already looking forward to the impact the programme will have on her personal development.

“I want to get as many skills as possible,” Abbie enthused. “I’ve worked in a mixture of restaurants, cafés and pubs and enjoyed every part of that, whether it’s learning about new customers or getting to learn something new every day like operating a coffee machine or pouring drinks and mixing cocktails.

“Now, I want to go as far as I can career-wise and the management skills Concord will be able to give me are the highest you can possibly get. I also want to show them the skills I have learnt, too.”

Many of those skills have been acquired at College, especially during the services she has been involved with at our on-site Ashfields Restaurant.

The apprenticeship has also seen her work at The Hidden Monkey café in Malton and at The Hyde Park pub in Norton, which is owned by her grandmother.

On the part College has played in terms of nurturing her readiness for this chance with Concord, Abbie explained: “The restaurant at College has seen me do different services to what I’ve done before like Afternoon Teas, Steak Nights and Wine Tasting.

“Everything is table service, rather than when you’re in a pub and people come up to the bar and order. I knew College could provide me with the skills I wanted and, as soon as I saw the restaurant and the kitchen, I knew hospitality was taken seriously here and that’s what I needed.

“The facilities are amazing and there’s a focus on everything whether that be napkin folding, table settings or the correct way to pour wine. The course has been a mixture of everything I wanted to do for my future and has built my skills and confidence up more.

“I’ve met new people here – it’s not just been a case of serving regulars in my home town. I’ve also been learning about different allergens and all the different services we have done have given me ideas for the future, which I can take to this next course.

“I was made to feel so welcome at College and I’ve loved every day and service since I came here. Any mistakes that I have made, I’ve looked to fix them and show that I’ve done better on the next service.

“Some of the customers we have here are quite important in their fields, but they are able to accept our mistakes because they appreciate that we are still learning. When I first started this course a year ago, I couldn’t even balance a tray, but now I can carry two at a time and it doesn’t bother me, which is all thanks to here.”

Admitting that the fact hospitality has always been a family business has “egged her on”, Abbie is now putting no ceiling on her own career aspirations.

“In five years’ time, I’d like to be running a hotel or be in as high a position as possible to show what I have learnt,” she declared. “I’d also like to help students who might come into the industry, like I did, not really knowing anything to then show them how they can get better and how to handle customers correctly.

“Some people get sick of their job, but I don’t think I ever will. I love every bit of it and look forward to every shift.”

For more information on our Hospitality Team Member Level 2 Apprenticeship, please click here

Further details on the Concord Hotels Management Programme can be found here

A list of current Apprenticeship Vacancies is available here