Shepherd Neame launches apprenticeship programme

Shepherd Neame is launching an apprenticeship programme for aspiring managers and chefs.

The Faversham-based brewer and pub operator has teamed up with Umbrella Training, a specialist hospitality apprenticeship provider based in Chatham, to provide a structured development programme for ambitious team members to progress within the business.

Shepherd Neame will be rolling out the programme in stages, starting this month with a group of 26 apprentices studying for Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor and Level 4 Hospitality Manager qualifications.

All the apprentices are already employed by Shepherd Neame, chosen for the programme by their managers. Their studies will last at least 13 months, consisting of 70% practical on the job training, 20% mentoring and coaching, and 10% workshop training and online support.

Shepherd Neame Training Manager Angela Barlow said: “One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing talented young people join the business and helping them to develop and grow. It is really exciting to now be able to formalise that process with this new apprenticeship programme. We have spent time working closely with the Umbrella Training team to create a bespoke course informed by our specific requirements while using a framework of industry-recognised qualifications.”

All General Managers or Head Chefs at Shepherd Neame sites with apprentices will undergo a mentoring course with Umbrella Training to understand their responsibilities.

Umbrella Training will also organise one-to-one sessions with every apprentice every month, and provide Shepherd Neame with quarterly updates.

Jodie Butcher, Assistant Manager at The Spitfire in West Malling, is among the first group of apprentices chosen for the programme. Jodie, 22, joined Shepherd Neame five years ago as a member of bar staff at the Manor Farm Barn in Southfleet. She said: “I am really excited to have been chosen for this programme. It’s fantastic to know that the team at Shepherd Neame believe in my potential and are willing to invest in my development. One day I hope to manage my own pub, so this is a great opportunity for me to gain the knowledge and skills to achieve that goal.”

The course is being funded through Shepherd Neame’s contributions to the government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme, which has been running since 2017.

Angela added: “As a company we are committed to developing and investing in our staff, so we wanted to use the levy to its full potential. Through this programme we hope to improve standards, customer service and cost control. We also hope that it will help us to retain and attract talent, by providing a clear path of progression from joining the company to becoming a manager.”



Sam Coulstock, Umbrella Training Business Relations Director added: “We are delighted to work with Shepherd Neame, an employer that is fully invested in developing its staff and training the next generation of hospitality professionals.”