How to get the most out of apprenticeships

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Opportunities for growth: Industry experts discuss the benefits of apprenticeships
Opportunities for growth: Industry experts discuss the benefits of apprenticeships

Related tags Training Pubco + head office MA Leaders Tyne and wear

Staff from the UK’s top pub companies discussed the benefits of apprenticeships at the MA Leaders Conference in Newcastle last week.

The MA Leaders​​ Club met in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, last Thursday (18 May) at Banyan Bar & Kitchen.

The panel included UKHospitality skills director Sandra Kelly, Stonegate Group training manager Scott Napier, Stonegate back of house training manager Lucy Forgo and kitchen manager of The Saultation, Tynemouth, Helen Jenson.

Napier and Forgo had both worked their way up in hospitality.​ Jenson had progressed through the apprenticeship programme to be kitchen manager, and then became area chef. She looks out for all different kitchens in the area. The apprenticeship programme had kept her, and her team, “engaged”.

Jenson added that the support in apprenticeship programmes had been “brilliant”. It was essential to have English and Maths GCSES, but if an applicant didn’t, they were helped to gain the equivalent. She’d also had access to a development coach who helped her through the technicalities.

What's involved?

Forgo’s day to day looked like supporting apprenticeships in an evolution pathway. This meant helping people get enrolled and pass initial assessments. She liaises to bring in chefs and score interviews for candidates.

Those coming into the apprenticeship programme could be fresh out of school,​ and they could go straight into management, she added.

The MA Leaders Club is open to multi-site pub operators and meets three times a year around the country for a day of business-focused presentations from top experts and owner/operators. The day is followed by an evening study tour of new and exciting venues.

If you’re interested in joining, register here​.

Napier has tried to partner with schools in his work with varying degrees of success. Due to the nature of pubs and alcohol, it was difficult to pitch apprenticeships to a school.

Valuing staff

Forgo “loved” watching people progress through the programme. She has “such a passion for training people”, and said it was great to see people come in fresh and ready to develop, “and now they’re flourishing”. She said: “I just love it.”

Napier added: “The industry has changed a lot, and there’s plenty of opportunities for growth”.

The industry needed to work together as a collective voice, according to Kelly.

Talking about apprenticeships, Jenson added:  ‘You feel as though you are a valued member of the team, the progression is there if you want it.”

Related topics MA Leaders Club

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