ONE of Hampshire’s top hotels has won a national title for the way it helps apprentices make headway in the hospitality industry.

The luxury Lime Wood complex in Lyndhurst entered the Hospitality Guild Apprenticeship Awards and was crowned Employer of the Year in the small/medium enterprises category.

The five-star hotel was praised for allowing apprentices to do a variety of jobs, enabling them to gain as much experience as possible.

At the same ceremony Norman MacKenzie, head chef at the Rhinefield House Hotel, near Brockenhurst, won the Apprentice Mentor of the Year award.

Rachael Fidler is managing director at HTP Training, which works with Lime Wood.

She described the hotel as a worthy winner of the accolade and added: “Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to train staff and develop the highest possible professional standards in this vibrant industry.”

Luke Holder, executive head chef at Lime Wood, said the hotel valued its apprentices highly.

He added: “We place a lot of value on training them because we know they are the future of the industry.”