Southsea hotel Queens Hotel takes on two apprentices as its grows in popularity thanks to multimillion pound revamp

A POPULAR hotel in Southsea has taken on two apprentices as it grows its team as part of its multimillion pound upgrade.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:34 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 7:06 pm
Apprentices Jack Breach and Ketan Dixon-Whiteaway at the Queens Hotel in Southsea

The Queens Hotel has hired apprentices Ketan Dixon-Whiteaway and Jack Breach to its kitchen team as part of its new apprenticeship programme.

The hotel, in Clarence Parade, was bought by new owners in 2017 and has been undergoing a multi-million pound revamp project.

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Apprentice Jack Breach, executive chef Simon Hartnett and apprentice Ketan Dixon-Whiteaway in the kitchen at the Queens Hotel in Southsea

The overhaul has seen two floors of rooms upgraded, a new conference and meeting suite put in, the lobby renovated and its new restaurant and bar opened earlier this summer.

The revamp has boosted its popularity and enabled it to grow its team – and general manager Catherine Austen said that apprenticeships were a great way to develop talent.

She said: ‘We are keen to promote the career opportunities that are available in hospitality and develop the skills of our talented team. By offering an apprenticeship programme, we can develop the talent of the future.’

Apprentice Jack Breach at the Queens Hotel in Southsea

Ketan, 21, has been working in local restaurants for a number of years but being supported to do his Level 3 qualification as part his course at HSDC means he can take his cooking skills to the next level.

He said: ‘I love cooking and this will give me a chance to gain even more understanding as well as new skills. It would be great to be able to progress at the Queens and do more qualifications - ultimately I would love to run my own restaurant.’

Jack, 17, joined as a kitchen porter and executive chef Simon Hartnett soon spotted his potential.

Jack said: ‘I enjoy doing all different styles of cooking - I’m doing my Level 2 and loving it.’

Apprentice Ketan Dixon-Whiteaway at the Queens Hotel in Southsea

Chef Simon said: ‘The great thing about working in a kitchen is that you can literally start as the pot washer and go all the way to the top - you just need a bit of determination. By offering the apprenticeship programme we are helping people to progress in their career and providing the right structure for them to thrive.’

The hotel is also developing more apprenticeship opportunities, with more details to be released soon.