Applications for the Greene King Apprenticeship Programme have surged by 141%, following the company’s pledge to take on 10,000 apprentices.
Following the promise made in 2016, Greene King has continued to grow its number of apprentices and has recruited 43% more 16-18 year olds this year in comparison to last year.
Greene King thinks the continuous shift towards apprenticeships among young people is good news for the hospitality industry, which has traditionally struggled with a skills gap shortage, especially across chef roles.
Greene King has worked to dispel misconceptions around hospitality as a career option and has launched various career initiatives to encourage young people to upskill, including its Get Into Hospitality Programme with The Prince’s Trust.
Jason Orme, general manager at Greene King pub The Priorslee in Telford, has first-hand experience of the apprenticeship programme.
He said: “When I was 16, I had my heart set on becoming a lawyer. To earn a bit of extra money through college, I started working as a pot washer in my local pub, the Cocked Hat Gosport. I had only intended to earn a bit of cash, but before I knew it, I began learning more about how to prepare food in a professional kitchen and started to develop a real passion for hospitality.”
“Once I’d got my A Levels, I chose to put law on hold and instead commit fully to the possibility of a career in the sector. I worked my way up to assistant manager with the benefits from the Apprenticeship Programme and completed a number of qualifications across food and drink, team leadership and management. The role taught me a lot and stood me in good stead for a general manager role so when the opportunity arose, I grabbed it with both hands and at 24, I was running my own pub.”
Greene King is headquartered in Bury St Edmunds and operates around 2900 pubs across the UK.