BURY ST EDMUNDS, England, November 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Celebrity Chef Supports Greene King's Apprenticeship Programme
- With Photos
With youth unemployment having broken 1 million this week, celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has taken time out of his own kitchen to back a major initiative by Greene King which has almost 700 young apprentices working in its pubs and restaurants across the UK.
Pierre White, a former apprentice himself, helped officially launch the pub retailer and brewer's own Discovery Apprenticeship programme at a master class cookery demonstration to celebrate the achievements of some of the first apprentices to qualify.
Jonathan Webster, managing director of Greene King's Destination Pubs and Restaurants division at Greene King explained that the company was committed to helping young people to gain qualifications and to progress their careers in a variety of roles within the hospitality sector.
"Our aim is not to just provide a 'pub job' but to offer a clear career path for our employees. Our Discovery Apprenticeship programme allows our employees to gain qualifications while gaining hands-on experience on the job.
"We hope our current apprentices will become our house managers, regional managers, development chefs and even directors of the future, and we might even have a future Michelin star rated chef among this crop of apprentices," he said.
The programme has been introduced to train and develop employees across the pub company's 2,400 pubs, including its Hungry Horse and Old English Inn pub chains, Loch Fyne Restaurants and its main brewery site.
The official launch of the programme comes in the same week that a report from the Institute of Public Policy Research warns that young people are missing out on Apprenticeships that could radically improve their chances of finding work.
With over 250 employees already having completed Apprenticeships, 425 currently in training and with plans to extend the programme to over 1300 further employees in 2012, Greene King is set to become one of the largest providers of hospitality based Apprenticeships in the UK. Around 70% of the company's apprentices are 24 years old or younger.
Marco Pierre White hosted the masterclass for eight apprentices, each nominated by their Business Development Managers. The celebrity chef showed the group simple and effective techniques of cooking with sea bass which they could take back to their own kitchens. He also talked about his own work ethic as an apprentice and his belief that good training and work experience is a passport to the world.
Former apprentice Chris Stanbrook also attended the master class. Chris, 29, from Bournemouth has worked his way up from Chef de Partie to Area Chef for Loch Fyne seafood restaurants through Apprenticeship training. He now oversees 12 restaurants in the southern region and is involved in training Greene King's current apprentices.
"Marco is an inspiration and it was an amazing experience to meet him," said Chris. "It was when I first started working at Loch Fyne that I discovered a real passion for cooking with seafood and experimenting to create new dishes. I couldn't believe my luck when I heard that Marco would be preparing two fish dishes. To be able to get tips from one of the 'greats' like him was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us."
Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeship Director at The National Apprenticeship Service, which has overall responsibility for the delivery of Apprenticeships in the UK, is delighted that a large employer like Greene King has chosen to introduce Apprenticeships to train and develop its staff.
"Greene King recognises that investing in apprentices will demonstrate its commitment to developing highly skilled Apprenticeship opportunities for local people. This will also ensure a highly skilled workforce for its future operations. The NAS are delighted to be supporting Greene King and their selected provider, Charnwood Training Group, in their Apprenticeship programme."
For more information about Greene King's Discovery Apprenticeship programme visit: http://www.greenekingcareers.co.uk
Notes to editors
- Greene King was founded in 1799 and is headquartered in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It currently employs 18,500 people across its main trading divisions: Retail, Pub Partners, Brewing Company and Belhaven.
- It operates c.2400 pubs and restaurants across England, Wales and Scotland, of which c.900 are retail pubs and restaurants and c.1500 are tenanted or leased pubs. Its leading retail brands are Hungry Horse, Old English Inns, Loch Fyne Restaurants and Eating Inn. 95% of the estate is either freehold or long leasehold.
- Greene King also brews quality ale brands from its Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar breweries. Its leading ale brands are Greene King IPA, the No.1 cask ale in the UK, Old Speckled Hen, the No.1 premium ale in the UK and Belhaven Best, the No.1 ale brand in Scotland.
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SOURCE Greene King