Greene King Apprenticeships: Great for Landlords and Staff

apprenticeship, running a pub, hospitality
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Mon, 10/04/2017 - 10:00

Ever considered having some Greene King Apprentices among your staff?  It could be the best decision you have ever made.  This is a brilliant way of obtaining some of the best skilled staff in the industry, staff who are keen to develop long term careers within the hospitality sector.

Greene King has become a market leader, winning numerous awards for its apprenticeship scheme. There are already over 2,000 apprenticeships existing across the whole span of the Greene King business and Greene King is determined to increase their numbers.  It has pledged to take on 10,000 apprentices over the next three years ensuring they get the vocational training and qualifications they need for their jobs.

There can be no doubt that pubs gain tremendously from their presence.  Taking on an apprentice to work in your pub means that you are going to get a really enthusiastic, really keen member of staff. Apprentices want to learn. They want to work. They want to develop long-term careers and are prepared to put in the time and effort to achieve those goals. 

The attitude of Gabrielle Green, an 18 year old apprentice chef working at The Ship in Bedford is typical of their approach.  “I didn’t want to be stuck in a classroom all the time and now I get the chance to learn while being paid at the same time. I can see myself growing as a person and would recommend to anybody wanting to learn on the job to look into being an apprentice.”

Finding Apprentices For Your Pub

Landlords can seek the help of their Business Development Manager to find suitable apprentices for their business, or can recommend existing members of staff for training.  There are ten different apprenticeship schemes covering all types of roles such as front of house, bar staff and kitchen staff. These are available at all levels from beginners to advanced standards, such as food and beverage service level 2, professional cookery level 3 to leadership and management at level 4. 

Have a look at our training guide for more details.

Each work based Government funded training programme lasts 12 months.  Apprentices learn at their own pace, while working at their jobs each day.  Some of their training may be undertaken elsewhere to give them a wider experience base, which they can then use to benefit the job at your pub.

Remembering his first day on the job, Jack, a Greene King apprentice said, “My first shift was a bit nerve racking! After training, I was put on the grill to cook a medium-rare steak for my Business Development Manager, the boss for the entire region! I was nervous at first, but rose to the challenge and cooked a steak and got on with the other orders.  The BDM entered the kitchen after he’d eaten it and was asking who cooked it. I quietly and nervously said that it was me. He went on to say that it was the best steak he had ever tasted! After this, I was totally hooked on being a chef.”

He continued, “The support I’ve had has been great. My manager would take me to watch other sites and observe how they do things. He would always look to develop me by getting me to look at other chefs and would always ask me questions such as ‘look at that plate of food – is it suitable?’, ‘Would you like that given to you?’ and ‘How could that be improved?’ All of which helped me to reflect on everything that I was doing as a chef.”

The benefits for pub landlords

For landlords taking on apprenticeships is a win-win situation. 

  • These are young people who are keen and willing to learn,
  • They are interested in what they are doing.
  • Apprentices are prepared to work hard.
  • It involves little cost. As this is a government funded scheme, landlords face minimal training expenses.

There are long term benefits too. Staff turnover decreases – apprentices tend to stay much longer and build a career in your pub simply because they are receiving so much encouragement.

Bear in mind that your staff are the public face of your business. It is these people with whom customers come into contact every day. The impressions from each encounter that are left in customers’ minds determine whether or not they return and use your pub again. Well trained staff make a tremendous difference to that customer experience. By employing apprentices, you are getting really high quality, well trained staff who are keen to interact with customers and make sure that every customer experience is a good one. 

These are staff members who are not just working for the sake of having a job, but are consciously building careers and looking for future development.  They are the future managers, the senior front of house staff and chefs.  As you build your business, and potentially consider expanding by taking over additional pubs as many landlords create small chains of their own, it is those staff who can provide the key employees to grow your business.

Isabelle Pearson is now house manager of The Ship, in Bedford. She was one of the first apprentices taken on by Green King and has steadily developed her career within that particular pub. As her skills and knowledge have developed, so she has taken on more and more senior roles.  Three years after taking her place behind the bar for the first time, she is now the house manager. She comments, “I thought it would be a stop gap, but very quickly realised that I wanted to run my own pub.  I felt that taking an apprenticeship would help me achieve that goal.”

For employees and landlords, apprenticeships are proving to be a major success story. Everyone benefits when you take on an apprentice.

To find out more about the training we offer at Greene King click here. If you’re already a Greene King landlord and would like to explore taking on an apprentice, speak to your BDM about it today.