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University isn’t always the answer!

Russell Butcher

That time of year is approaching again, and the UK’s school leavers are thinking about their next steps. This can be a tough time for young people, making big decisions on what to do next and what options they have. Comment from Russell Butcher, Senior Manager, education, qualification and skills at Starbucks.

It is often thought the best option after school is university. But what are the other options? University isn’t the right choice for everyone, but what else is out there that compares? Jenny Williams was in this exact predicament just a couple of years ago, and as a young person looking at what to do with her life, she found it tricky to decide on the best option for her. She didn’t really fancy university and was keen to start earning her own money, but at the same time she was keen to continue to learn and develop towards a career. She said: “I looked in to going to university but there wasn’t any particular course I wanted to study and I felt I would just be going because that’s what I thought you did after school and college.” Jenny got herself a job at her local Starbucks in Birmingham and soon learned about the training opportunities they had on offer. Starbucks introduced Jenny to their apprenticeship programme and showed her how this course could offer her the learning and development she was searching for.

Starbucks runs apprenticeship programmes, through Remit Training, in Barista Mastery, Customer Service and Management. These programmes run for 12 months and fully train apprentices in the skills required to be highly skilled Baristas. The Customer Service elements of the programme develop employees to ensure they are delivering Starbucks’ impeccable level of customer service. The worldwide brand strongly believes in developing its staff, offering the opportunity to progress within the business to become Shift Supervisors and Store Managers. Jenny worked really hard throughout her apprenticeship. She was a shining example of a Barista, and grew in confidence as she progressed – something she had struggled with in the past.

When the 30 year old was offered the opportunity to continue on to her Level 3 qualification in Management and become a Store Supervisor, she jumped at the chance. She had really found something she loved, and the development she experienced has given her a real focus and career path. “I would never have thought that doing a customer facing role would be something I could do, but not only do I feel really confident doing it now, I absolutely love my job. I love interacting with the customers on a daily basis and have a great team I work with, which makes work a fun place to be. “For anyone wondering what to do after school, I would definitely recommend getting yourself on to an apprenticeship. Not only do you get yourself a nationally recognised qualification but you are earning money at the same time. It was the perfect choice for me and I don’t regret a minute of it.”

Jenny has recently been nominated for a National Apprenticeship Award by her training provider, Remit. Her story is a great example of how taking a different route into your career can really pay off for a young person’s future and ambitions. Russell Butcher, Senior Manager, education, qualification and skills at Starbucks said, “Our apprenticeship programmes are designed to not only educate and develop our employees in their specific role at work but also to empower them and give them confidence and ambition to succeed in their careers. Jenny’s story is a great example of how a young person has not only developed professionally but also personally which I think is a real credit to the programme.” Clare Green is Business Unit Director-Business Services at Remit and added, “Jenny is a shining example of one of our apprentices who has hugely developed herself and has embraced her apprenticeship programme and the opportunities it has given her. Well done Jenny and we wish her all the best in her future with Starbucks.”

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