I had one of my best days ever on a HANE Masterclass
Hannah Kerridge, one of the 2019 intake of apprentices on the HANE programme came to the world of apprenticeship following time at University and also periods of working in a local hotel.
“I already had some hotel experience,” explains Hannah, “As I’d worked part time in a hotel in Aberdeen while I was at University like many students do. After leaving Uni I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do so I carried on the working in a hotel. When I found out about the apprenticeship it sounded like an excellent opportunity.
“Because I had the hotel working experience, I knew by then that it was hotels I wanted to work in, and it was hospitality I wanted a career in. The apprenticeship was going to offer me a qualification and far more experience in different departments which would put me in good stead to go further in my career. And it’s a paid apprenticeship. If someone had raised this with me when I left school I would have taken it up and gone straight into getting lots of hands on experience. If I’d gone into it straight from school, I maybe would be a supervisor or duty manager by now rather than in a couple of years’ time. That’s what I am aiming for just now. You do get placements at college but with the apprenticeship you are paid the entire time and get a whole range of experience every day– which is a massive selling point for taking an apprenticeship route.
“I think it sets you apart from anyone at college because of that level of hands on experience. I am learning so much more through the department rotations that I would have done staying in one job role. As an apprentice you are not stifled by what you can learn. At college there’s a set process to what you can learn, but on an apprenticeship you are thrown in at the deep end and you don’t just have to learn how to lay a table and how to operate a till – you can learn stock control; you can learn ordering; anything that those around you are willing to teach you in fact. I think that’s a massive bonus point for an apprentice.
“There have been some great experiences to come out of the programme. I had one of my best days ever – a brilliant day – at a wine course which The Fife Arms put on for all the apprentices. It was with a sommelier from London. It was so informative. I never knew much about wine to so get the chance to do something like that was great. We also did a whisky tour.
“I also got the chance to meet the chef Glynn Purnell. It was a great opportunity to meet someone like that who started off on an apprentice level and has gone on to do all that he’s done. It just shows you that it can be done.
“My managers have been so good to me, if I want to learn something they show me it and they show me extra things because they know I want to learn. I hope that I can remain with Jurys Inns in Aberdeen and can go into one of their training schemes after the apprenticeship such as their duty manager scheme which would be excellent for my career progression. I’m inspired by Alison Christie who is the area manager for Jurys Inns. She’s an inspiration to me when I look at what she’s done and how many hotels she looks after and how successful those hotels have been.
“I’d encourage others to take the Hospitality Apprentice North East opportunity at school leaving point or later. It’s a great experience and all of the apprentices learn from each other and share our experiences as some of us work in privately-owned hotels and some in corporate hotels and there’s a big difference – but we all get to share what were learning. It’s a great start to my hospitality career.”