Shepherd Neame launches 2nd wave of apprenticeship scheme

Shepherd Neame has launched its second apprenticeship programme for aspiring managers across its business.

Britain’s oldest brewer has again teamed up with Chatham-based specialist hospitality apprenticeship provider Umbrella Training, for the scheme, after successfully launching its first programme back in 2019.

The new apprentices are already employed by Shepherd Neame, and have been chosen to undertake the training by their managers, who will be mentoring them through the process.

They will spend the next year working towards Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor, with their studies consisting of 70% practical on the job training, 20% mentoring and coaching and 10% workshop training and online support. There are also 13 apprentices studying for Level 4 Hospitality Manager qualifications, bringing the total the company is currently training to 20.

The seven Level 3 apprentices, accompanied by their mentors, gathered at Shepherd Neame’s Visitor Centre in Court Street, Faversham, recently for an introduction to their studies.

Lisa Williams, Shepherd Neame Field Trainer, said, “It is great to welcome this second wave of our staff on to our apprenticeship programme – they have an exciting time ahead of them!”

“We have worked hard to enhance the programme experience for our apprentices and believe we have refined and improved the process even more.”

Suzy Read, Senior Learning Consultant at Umbrella Training, said, “It feels amazing to be back, training and meeting people face to face. The passion everyone has for developing their staff and their teams is amazing. Learning and development is my passion, so to see people’s faces and feel the excitement in the room is brilliant.”

“There is a lot of work ahead for them, but I think that with the right support and the time to complete their work, they could all be getting distinctions by the end of the assessment!”

General Manager at the Marine Hotel in Tankerton, Nicholas Ings-Kemsley, is mentoring two apprentices - James Carpenter and Dan Hughes - who are both currently Supervisors.

Nicholas said, “It is the ideal opportunity to formalise the training we would like to develop, and because the guys are developing within the business already, we would have been supporting them on their journey - but with the apprenticeship scheme, there is the added bonus that they get an extra qualification at the end of it.

“We get to progress people as part of our team - they already have Shepherd Neame values - and we also get to build their skills. It is an exciting time. It is lovely to work for a company that is willing to invest in people, given the financial challenges the whole of the industry has faced.”

Apprentice James Carpenter, 34, who has been working for the company seven and a half years, said: “I want to gain as much knowledge as I can in the industry, as eventually I want to run my own pub.

“I love working there. I want knowledge to improve the job that I do and hopefully to push myself further within the industry. Nick’s mentality is to get us both up to management level; he has been very supportive in progressing us further. “

Fellow Marine Hotel apprentice Dan Hughes, 26, said, “It is a learning curve for us both, but it is a great opportunity.”

Mentor Natasha Franz, General Manager at the Bell Hotel in Sandwich, will be mentoring apprentice Charlotte Clark. She said,“I am looking forward to mentoring her – she is a shining star. It is a very busy job, but we both know where we are going and how we are going to do it. She just needs to gain in confidence and I have confidence that she will complete this.'

Charlotte, who has worked at the Bell Hotel in Sandwich for almost two years, added, “It is a new challenge. I thought it would be a really good project within the company. It is exciting – I am really excited about it.”

FS News editor Becky says, 'Good luck to all these aspiring managers, we're sure you'll do brilliantly with mentors like Natasha.'