Cumbria Crack

Lake District Hoteliers Association (LDHA) champions new visitor economy apprenticeship

Nicolaos Karakasis, employee and student, with Joe Cobb, general manage of Lake District Country Hotels

The Lake District Hoteliers Association (LDHA) is championing a new apprenticeship programme, designed and delivered by the University of Cumbria.

The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) in Visitor Economy was created in a bid to bolster the talent in the hospitality and tourism industry. The course is delivered at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus, and employers can choose to enrol new and existing employees in the scheme.

Dr. Angela Anthonisz, principal lecturer at the University of Cumbria, said: “The response to this newly-launched programme has been fantastic so far. There are currently 15 students enrolled from September 2019 onwards, with a further 10 already confirmed for September 2020. The course helps existing, new and aspiring managers to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to take a lead responsibility for people, projects, operations or services, therefore providing the foundation for long-term business success.

“The subject of apprenticeships is interesting and is always a thought-provoking issue in the hospitality industry, in particular. We believe that apprenticeships are a superb way to develop experience and skills for those who would like to explore a different way of learning that isn’t the traditional academic model. There are many fantastic benefits to an apprenticeship. You get a taste of the working world with hands-on experience, you are also paid a salary and you have the opportunity to train and hone your skills while you work.”

A number of Lake District-based employers have already signed up to the scheme. These include Gilpin Hotel and Lakes House, Lakeland Arts, Lake District Country Hotels (Cragwood, Briery Wood, Merewood) and South Lakes Hotels (Damson Dene).

Joe Cobb, chairman of LDHA, said: “The course has been specially created with the view to address the existing needs of the hospitality and tourism industry. For example, introducing new talent and innovative thinkers to the industry is a vital long-term goal. The three-year retention of a valued, experienced and trusted team member is another huge benefit. It’s a win-win-win for us, employers, the students and our returning visitors who come to enjoy the Lake District.”

Dr. Anthonisz added: “There are important benefits for the employer taking part in the programme. In terms of fees, 90% of the course fee is provided by the government and only 10% is supported by the employer. There are also only 24 days of campus learning during the low season each year giving employers the ability to invest and progress the skills of valued employees.

Nicolaos Karakasis, student and employee of the Lake District Country Hotels, said: “This degree is the perfect way for me to develop my skills and knowledge whilst progressing my career in hospitality.”

To find out more about the scheme and how to get involved, please visit the website at:

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