Members of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Work Based Learning Team have been sent “back to the floor” to experience daily life as an apprentice.
To mark National Apprenticeship Week, College Apprenticeship Assessors rolled up their sleeves and worked alongside the trainee professionals they usually teach to gain an insight into the operational practices of local employers and to better understand the viewpoint of an apprentice.
On Tuesday, Apprentice Assessor Rebecca Johnson spent the afternoon working in the bar of QHotel’s Stratford Manor, receiving training in the preparation of food and drinks, in taking payments and in customer service from Food and Beverage Apprentice Scott Bransby and Hospitality Apprentice Laura-Marie Slatem.
Hannah Benjamin, Human Resource Officer at Stratford Manor praised the quality of apprentices they have received for the College. “Our relationship with Stratford College has not only enriched our business, it has created the foundations of students’ futures through the support of the dedicated Apprenticeship Team. We have shining students in both kitchen and general hospitality roles, where they have gone on to win group-level chef competitions, become apprenticeship ambassadors and represented us at local events for both the College and QHotels. The College are very understanding of the skillset we look for and the personality to match our business style, and we look forward to welcoming new apprentices for our July and September intake.”
Wednesday saw newly-appointed Assessor Alison Dean working in several departments in the College itself, alongside three apprentices employed there full time. After enjoying a spell on the reception desk taking calls and meeting visitors with Business Administration apprentice Leigh-Ann Penman, Alison joined Kirsty Fox in Student Services, before teaming up with Kate Parker in Marketing to help look after the College’s social media channels.
Throughout Thursday morning, Work Based Learning Team Leader Bryan Anderson reported for his shift at Fourteas Café on Sheep Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. He assisted Hospitality Apprentice Elliott Wallis as part of the front-of-house team serving customers, including regular patron Margret Callaghan. Margret praised the friendly atmosphere of the café. “We really enjoy coming here as it’s run so well with lovely staff. No matter the size of your group or how long you stay, they always make you feel welcome and accommodate you. They have a great team here and it’s the perfect place to learn the excellent customer service skills you would need to work in catering.”
Having spent the day helping Bryan learn the ropes, Elliot praised his trainer’s work ethic. “Bryan is doing wonderfully well – although he does have a little bit more experience than most new starters. I would definitely hire him!”
Finishing his shift, Bryan said “I really enjoyed my time at Fourteas today and it gave me a real insight into the challenges my apprentices face every day at work. I never knew that different blends of tea require different brewing times and how useful an egg timer is to get the perfect cuppa!”
For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit www.stratford.ac.uk or call the College on 01789 266245.