Gusto Italian invests in Junior Managers with bespoke degree-level qualification

Gusto Italian, the premium casual dining restaurant group, has launched a new apprenticeship scheme, which will enable team members to achieve a degree-level qualification.

Through a partnership with leading training and development providers, Dove Nest, thirteen Junior Managers have been selected for the first cohort. Over the next 18 months, they will study for a Level 5 Apprenticeship in operational management, alongside their roles within the business, earning a qualification from the Institute of Leadership & Management.

Junior Managers from a number of different roles have been given the opportunity to study for the qualification, including Assistant General Manager, Duty Manager, Bar Manager, Events and Sales Manager, and Sous Chef, and each apprentice will follow a programme which has been tailored specifically to support them in their desired development path.

Anne Marie Sarantis, Head of People, Gusto Italian, explained, “We believe in investing and partnering with standout businesses to grow and develop our Gusto family. The Gusto People team have been looking for ways to help narrow the skills gap between Junior Managers and Senior Managers.

'We’re delighted to have created this bespoke programme with Dove Nest, providing different experiences for each apprentice. We are also giving our team the time protected on the rota for them to complete their work. Our Gusto family and their development is really important to us and we’re so excited to support everybody’s journey over the next year and a half.”

As part of the new training programme, apprentices will take on new responsibilities in the business and attend workshops run by Dove Nest and Gusto Italian, as well as shadow the support team on projects to support learnings.

They will also be given assignments, and receive one-to-one professional coaching, with all work going towards the portfolio they will complete to gain the final qualifications.

Jenny Jones, Managing Director at Dove Nest Group, added, “Over the past 40 years, we have developed an approach to partnering which means going far beyond a purely transactional service.

'We deliver real world training to advance leaders and managers, not only as an apprenticeship training provider, but also in a commercial and professional sense. We place our values at the core of this delivery; Passionate about People, Giving Twice to Receive Once and Demonstrating Compassion and Courage.

'The People team at Gusto Italian have embraced this partnership, and we’re looking forward to working together to deliver these bespoke programmes, and having real and sustainable impacts on both the participants and the business as a whole.”

Founded in Cheshire in 2005, Gusto Italian has almost 600 employees, known as family members, across 13 restaurants. The company’s most recent site opened in Nottingham in late 2021.

Last month, the company announced a new partnership with PayCaptain, which further strengthened its employee proposition and pushed financial awareness and wellbeing up the agenda for its people.