Charnwood Boss goes 'Back to the Floor'
To support the National Apprenticeship Week 2012, Bosses from Greene King, the National Apprenticeship Service and Charnwood Training Group joined forces and went back to the floor at a Birmingham pub this week to be taught the tricks of the trade by hospitality apprentices.
The tables were turned on Greene King's Operations Director Matt Brown as he was put through his paces by three of the company's current apprentices - who set him to work waiting tables and pulling perfect pints.
The traditional image of apprentices is of teenagers picking up a trade such as plumbing or construction. But the range of Apprenticeships has soared, including in hospitality and management training within the pub and restaurant trade.
There are already over 700 apprentices starting out on a career path across Greene King's 2,400 pubs and restaurants, and the pub operator and brewer plans to extend its Discovery Apprenticeship programme to a further 1,300 further employees in 2012. It aims to provide more than just a 'pub job' but a clear career path to develop its regional managers, development chefs and even directors of the future.
Matt Brown was joined by Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeship Director at NAS, and Jeremy Scorer, Director of Charnwood Training Group (Greene King's chosen training provider) as he went back to the floor at the Hunters Moon pub, part of Greene King's Hungry Horse pub chain, in Hodgehill, Birmingham on Monday afternoon.
Matt started out in his own career in the pub and restaurant business 31 years ago as a pot washer and has worked his way up through all aspects of the trade having been a barman, waiter and chef before going into management roles and working his way up to his current position as Operations Director for Greene King.
He said: "The apprentices certainly made us work hard and didn't cut us any slack just because we were the bosses! It was great fun to be behind the bar and interacting with customers. But more importantly it was a reminder of all the hard work which goes into efficiently running our pubs and restaurants. This why it is so important to invest in training and developing our employees so we can retain talent and help our businesses deliver an enhanced customer experience."
Apprenticeships are the perfect springboard for people to launch their careers. They provide the opportunity to earn while gaining nationally recognised qualifications and hands-on work experience. Businesses benefit from a more motivated, skilled and loyal workforce.
Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeship Director at the NAS, added: "I'm absolutely delighted to have spent some time with Greene King apprentices at one of their flagship pubs. The visit gave me a real insight into the experience and training they are receiving. The Pub and Brewing industry offers excellent career opportunities with good rewards. It is vital that organisations like Greene King celebrate the success and benefits that apprentices bring to their business and their workforce during National Apprenticeship Week."
The three apprentices, 38-year-old Carla Jones, 41-year-old Lisa Barrett and 52-year-old Denise Blackmore, all from Birmingham, said they had enjoyed being able boss the bosses around for the afternoon. All three are working towards hospitality services qualifications.
Denise, who has worked for Greene King since September last year, said: "Obviously it was fantastic to spend the afternoon making the bosses do most of your work for you! We were also delighted that they all took the time to spend the afternoon with us and to recognise the hard work put in by the team here at the pub. I'm proof that you are never too old to take on an Apprenticeship and I'm delighted that I've been given the opportunity to earn qualifications and to move up the career ladder within the company."
Greene King's Apprenticeship Training is delivered in partnership with Charnwood Training Group, the UK's fastest growing training provider for the catering, hospitality and security industries.
Jeremy Scorer, Director of Charnwood, added: "We pride ourselves on working with companies to provide Apprenticeship training as a flexible resource to help businesses grow and harness fresh talent, and to help people reach their full potential and gain qualifications. Going back to the floor for the afternoon with Greene King gave me firsthand experience of the difference apprentices can make in growing a successful business."
He added: "I thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was great to see our apprentice's advance their skills further and take the lead. Being born and bred into the hospitality trade myself, I understand the amount of hard work and dedication these apprentices put in to give customers of The Hunters Moon a fantastic hospitality experience. Although it's been a while since I last pulled a pint, I think I did the apprentices justice and made a pretty good barman!
For more information about how Charnwood can support your business please contact us on 0845 437 4000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org