Kieron Fisher, an apprentice at Greene King’s The Nottingham Knight, is a great example of how apprenticeship schemes can offer continued professional development at the same time as earning a wage.
Kieron joined the team at The Nottingham Knight towards the end of 2016, in a front of house role after completing his A Levels. At the time, he was debating whether to go to university or to begin work straight away and, in fact, was offered places at a number of universities to continue studying; he chose to turn these down to start a Greene King apprenticeship.
“The idea of an apprenticeship really appealed to me as I wanted to earn money but didn’t want to do that at the expense of my professional development. By that time I had been working at The Nottingham Knight for a couple of months and I realised that I could build a career in the hospitality industry – I was really enjoying it, my colleagues were lovely and the job was interesting and varied. So when I found out through an apprenticeship advisor that Greene King offered a really good apprenticeship scheme it seemed almost too good to be true!”
Kieron enrolled in Greene King’s award-winning apprenticeship programme soon after, and formally started his qualification in February 2017. The course brings together classroom learning and on-the-job practical training at The Nottingham Knight and he meets once a month with Greene King’s training partner Lifetime Training to ensure he’s on track and progressing.
He added: “I like the fact I still get to work, while learning new things and taking on responsibilities. My Level 2 programme lasts for 12 months and by the end of the year, I will have completed 60% of the qualification. Alongside the apprenticeship, I’m also working on my GCSE Maths and English – it’s great to know I’m really developing my career earning money.”
James Newton, Kieron’s deputy general manager at The Nottingham Knight, is himself an apprentice. He brought Kieron on board, and has seen him develop. He has also seen the positive effect that taking on an apprentice has had on the wider business.
“What struck me about Kieron was his ambition and can-do attitude. He was keen to start his career and saw it as a way to progress in the hospitality industry, which is fantastic. It’s been great to see the noticeable positive effect that Kieron, as a Level 2 apprentice, has had on the wider team. They enjoy passing on the skills that they’ve learned over the years to contribute to Kieron’s professional development. It instils a huge sense of pride and contributes to great morale and motivation internally.
“I’m an apprentice myself. At 18 I knew I couldn’t do another three years in higher education, it just wasn’t the path for me. Now I’m progressing towards my Level 3 managerial qualification and I’m hoping to become a general manager running my own pub in the near future. It’s such a positive thing to do, I’d encourage those leaving school after A Levels to look at all the options available to them, and if they choose to go down the apprenticeship route, all I’d say is choose an area they enjoy. That’s what it’s all about, really.”