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Apprenticeships at Bournemouth and Poole College: the hotel apprenticeship journey at Marsham Court Hotel

Simon Scarborough, Head of Training and Development at the renowned Marsham Court Hotel on the East Cliff of Bournemouth, has had a long history of working with Bournemouth and Poole College and taking on apprentices for the hospitality industry. The Marsham Court Hotel, even before Simon’s leadership, has been taking apprentices from the college for over 25 years.

Marsham Court Hotel

Simon often employs at least one chef apprentice a year; but can have up to three Hospitality Level 2 apprentices also. This year, he currently has two apprentices – Ryan in Catering and Eva in Hospitality. He says: “Ryan is making good progress and has developed into his own in this role over the last year. He is doing very well at college and this is aiding his transition into the industry and workplace. Eva, also, has been a joy from day one to employ - always with a willingness to undertake tasks given to her and she is a future star.”

The apprentices have to undertake a range of tasks in kitchen work and meal preparation. One of the best attributes of apprenticeships in general, says Simon, is that: “Apprentices undertake 20 percent of their time in college and 80 percent in the workplace whilst on this programme. It’s positive for the apprentices for their personal and intellectual development and for their peer group activities.”

Eva said of her waitressing role: “I’m one of about 20 employees working as a waitress at Marsham Court Hotel. I take orders, clear food, and re-set up for breakfast and dinner. I’m now silver-service trained and have been doing the job for almost a year. I’m hoping to stay and like working in this industry. I’ve got a final college End Point Assessment to complete and I’m doing my project on a loyalty card for coldwater swimming at the hotel – I do hope it gets implemented.”

Simon said of the apprenticeships: “I’d like to take on more apprentices in the future, we could initially only have a few because of the lockdowns. Ironically, we have placements, students need placements but there is a bit of a disconnect. I’d like to see more hospitality students coming through our doors in– they come out with wonderful life and work skills after their studies.”

The Marsham Court Hotel first opened in 1913. It was then owned by Mr. and Mrs. Marsh – who had a ham-curing business and they combined the words ‘Marsh’ and ‘ham’ to create its unique name. By 1923, demand for the hotel’s 13 rooms had become so great that a neighbouring house was bought and linked providing a total of 41 rooms.

Fast forward to today and the current directors are Rosie, James, and Russell – fourth-generation hoteliers, whose parents bought the hotel in 1987 - when it needed substantial refurbishment. They continue to invest in the 4* hotel, building on its hard-earned reputation for quality, service, and attention to detail.

Simon Scarborough has worked with several hotels throughout his eminent career, including Head of Training and Development and latterly General Manager of the Norfolk Royale Hotel also in Bournemouth. He made the switch to the Marsham Court Hotel, which boasts beautiful beach views, in 2019, just before the lockdowns which deeply affected the hotel industry.

If you are interested in any of our chef apprenticeships or a hospitality apprenticeship, you can view: or