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Apprentices make history after completing the UK’s first ever Brewer Apprenticeship

Posted on 25 September, 2020

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The very first apprentices have now completed the pioneering Level 4 Brewer Apprenticeship, making them the highest qualified apprentices in the UK brewing sector.

Craft beer production in the UK grew by a whopping 10.5% between 2014 and 20191 and as the sector looks to rebuild itself after the lockdown period, it’s more important than ever that skilled professionals continue to drive the industry forward and to help it thrive.

Those who have completed the Brewer Apprenticeship benefitted from an 18-month programme, which included residential workshops run by The University of Nottingham’s International Centre for Brewing Science, where they learnt about different brewing techniques, as well as the chemistry behind the brewing process. In addition, the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) offered online learning materials to complement the workshops.

To complete the apprenticeship package, HIT Training’s expert trainers provided 1-2-1 support for each aspiring brewer. During the pandemic, these sessions, along with greatly appreciated pastoral support, have been seamlessly delivered online, ensuring that learning could continue even if apprentices were furloughed.

Apprentice, Felix Granell at Brewhouse & Kitchen, Portsmouth, who completed the course with Distinction, says taking part in the programme has given him many valuable learning experiences that would have otherwise taken years of independent work.

He added: “I feel confident that my skills, knowledge and the relationships built during this time have set me up for a successful career in an incredibly competitive and changeable industry.

“I have experienced running my own micro-brewery, got the chance to see the inner workings of the Nottingham University Brewing Science Department, as well as had the unique opportunity to be a part of a huge network of incredible brewing experts from across the country.”

The Level 4 Brewer Apprenticeship is a first-of-its-kind qualification, delivered through a unique collaboration between employers, HIT Training and The University of Nottingham.

The apprenticeship was developed by a highly engaged employer trailblazer group, facilitated by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). The group is made up of industry leaders including HIT Training, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, The University of Nottingham, as well as some of the most prominent brewing companies in the sector.

Kris Gumbrell, Chief Executive Officer at Brewhouse and Kitchen, who played an active role in the development of the apprenticeship, commented: “We’re delighted to see the first Brewing Apprentices graduate; these are now the highest qualified apprentices in the UK brewing sector and we are proud to have led the trailblazer group to get these young brewers to this standard. Especially in light of the pandemic, higher level apprenticeships, where people develop skills and earn at the same time, are becoming increasingly attractive for young people. At Brewhouse and Kitchen, we remain dedicated to delivering a portfolio of apprenticeships, working together with specialists such as HIT Training to deliver these goals.”

The Brewer Apprenticeship was created in direct response to the rise in popularity of craft beer. HIT Training was instrumental in designing the programme content and delivery model to help nurture and support the diverse role of the brewer in small and large breweries alike.

Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at HIT Training, says: “The brewing sector has undergone a huge transformation in the past decade, leading to exceptional growth. Right now, there is an incredible opportunity for people to join this industry, enrich their skills and be a part of this exciting journey.

“We’re immensely proud to see the first apprentices complete the innovative Brewer Apprenticeship, especially during such a challenging year for the industry. Not only are they equipped with the specialist knowledge to thrive in the exciting and diversifying brewing sector, this also marks a big step towards strengthening and future-proofing the industry. As we look to rebuild the sector following the pandemic, at HIT Training we wholeheartedly believe that investing in our workforce and providing development opportunities will help to
see the industry flourish.”

If you are interested in finding out more information about the Level 4 Brewer Apprenticeship or would like to enrol an apprentice onto the next cohort, please visit: hittraining.co.uk/brewer-apprenticeship

1 Ibis World (December 2019) Craft Beer Production in the UK - Market Research Report


Testimonials

McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey

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