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Star Pubs & Bars sponsors 100 apprentices to help licensees attract and upskill staff

In advance of the first Hospitality Apprenticeship Week, Star Pubs & Bars today announced it has committed funding to sponsor 100 new apprentices in its estate this year.  The move is designed to help licensees attract and retain the best talent in the kitchen and behind the bar in order to develop future hospitality managers.

Prompted by feedback from the company’s licensee forums1 that recruiting and keeping permanent staff is one of their biggest challenges, Star has teamed up with service provider Remit to help licensees find and train apprentices. It is funding the employer contribution for the first 100 licensees who sign up to use the scheme.

Star Pubs & Bars sees the programme as a great way for pubs to develop their own teams and nurture the hospitality professionals of the future. Training and investment makes apprentice chefs and bar staff feel valued and motivated – and they’re more likely to stay in the pub they’re working in and to remain in the hospitality industry long-term. 

Stephen Rooney, Head of Business Support said: “The hospitality sector offers a fantastic range of opportunities. Anyone can progress from the bar to the boardroom, and many chefs and front of house staff in our pubs go on to run their own businesses. Apprenticeships provide the structure for young people to get off to a good start, and our scheme will hopefully help encourage more to follow a career path in our sector. 

“In particular, we want to help develop experienced chefs and managers, who are in short supply. We have listened to licensees very real concerns about recruiting and keeping staff and put in place support to help them grow their own talent.  Apprentices also bring energy and enthusiasm, along with a fresh perspective, to the teams they work with, so taking on an apprentice is a win-win for all.”

Two of the first licensees and apprentices to take up the opportunity have already benefited from the scheme – The White Horse Hotel, Whitby and the Royal Oak, Great Ayton.

The White House Hotel, Whitby

Licensee Linda Galea decided to use the apprentice scheme support from Star Pubs & Bars to upskill one of the pub’s existing members of staff.  She said: “It’s hard to get people into hospitality as it more of a way of life and can be full-on some days.  We wanted someone who was keen on the job and interested in learning new skills. 

“Having Chloe as our apprentice has been really good. She’s bringing in a lot of new ideas and is doing really well. We trust her, she’s running the team and I’m really proud of the fact that she’s grown to become an assistant manager. If and when the time comes for her to leave here, she’s got some really good skills to manage her own business.”

Apprentice Chloe Charlesworth said: “It’s been great to learn more in-depth things about the industry.  My confidence working in the bar and restaurant has grown a lot. It’s been a good learning curve for me to learn more about the industry.  Following a training scheme like this will I believe help me progress in my career to one day become a general manager or a lessee.”

Royal Oak, Great Ayton

Licensee Katie Fletcher was fully aware that as industry it is difficult to attract and retain staff, so took the opportunity the apprenticeship scheme offered with Star Pubs & Bars support to do something about it.  She’s been so impressed by the results she has decided to take on a second apprentice, this time in the kitchen.

She said: “We instantly recognised the excellent work ethic of one of our employees, Jess, who told us she was looking for an apprenticeship.  We said yes immediately as we thought it would be great to have another strong team member front of house and it would give her an opportunity to develop her skills and leave with a qualification. In our experience, apprenticeships benefit the apprentice and the employer as the apprentice is committed to you, works hard and brings with them new knowledge and skills.”

Apprentice, Jessica Edwards, said: “I got to know much more about the business that I wouldn’t have without the apprenticeship.  It has helped greatly with my confidence and given me new skills which will open a lot of new doors in my career.”

The Star Pubs & Bars pub apprenticeship scheme sits alongside HEINEKEN’s wider apprentice programme which includes Brewing Operations. This year HEINEKEN is increasing the intake of brewing apprentices from 6 to 22, extending its engineering apprentices opportunities to advanced process operator, brewer and manufacturing manager roles.

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