After Covid restrictions were lifted in the UK, the end of furlough was near, and the great British staycation became so popular we offered our first ever apprenticeship opportunity, a great prospect to "earn while you learn".One year on, our apprentices are at the last stretch of their course, and we have spoken to Mia from The Pigs and Owen from Ffolkes to share their experiences with us.



Some might say that Mia is part of the furniture at The Pigs with over six years under her belt! Initially starting in pot wash, she has risen through the ranks and is now a top-notch front-of-house supervisor. Mia saw the apprenticeship scheme as a fantastic opportunity to continue her development in the business.

Upon starting her course, Julie from HIT Training picked up on Mia's eagerness to learn and has been a fantastic support in pushing her forwards. " The apprenticeship has helped me to gain the next step on the ladder," says Mia.

Mia also has support internally from Tom (General Manager). Together, they have been on a thumbs-up mission to create an incredible customer journey at The Pigs. Tom has helped Mia by providing insight into strategy and the business's overlook, allowing her to apply her learning to real-life situations.

"The last session I completed was on menu engineering. And The Pigs recently had a menu change. It was beneficial to see it happening and apply what I had been taught to that process," says Mia.

Alongside her apprenticeship, Mia has also participated in the Thumbs Up Academy. This in-house training opportunity allows rising stars to gain insight into the inner workings of the brands. Mia says, "having the Thumbs Up Academy run alongside my course has been a real bonus. Even my tutor is impressed with the training and support we already receive".

When asked what advice she'd give others thinking of joining the scheme, Mia said, "being organised is the main thing!" She said, " It is all very accommodating with your goals and what you want to achieve. I've had a great balance between working and completing the modules in the apprenticeship."

Mia would recommend the apprenticeship scheme to anyone, even if they aren't 100% with what they would like to do, "it gives a great sense of achievement and direction".

We are very proud of Mia and her achievements and can't wait to see what the future holds for her!



When the apprenticeship scheme first launched, the level 2 apprentice, Owen, started his journey at Ffolkes. Before joining, Owen studied graphic design at college and worked part-time as a lifeguard. After completing college, Owen was at a crossroads; head to university or venture into the world of work? The opportunity to earn a good wage and get a qualification simultaneously seemed like a "win-win" for Owen and the stars aligned!

Being part of the program, Owen finds it effortless to balance work and study, taking part in zoom calls roughly every fortnight. He has a fab tutor, Martin from HIT Training, who has been tremendous and visits Ffolkes regularly (he states it is one of the favourites to visit!). Owen also receives support internally from Ffolkes team.

"The support given to me by Tom (General Manager at Ffokes) and Lauren (Restaurant Manager) is second to none! I regularly get taught the tips and tricks of the trade, and there is always something new to get stuck into," says Owen. "The apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to get a qualification under my belt and I feel like I fit in very well with the team."

Owen describes the working environment as homely and fun, especially on a Friday evening when 'Eat to the Beat' is on (Owen is known for a work boogie). His confidence has grown rapidly since starting at Ffolkes and he is exploring the option of doing his level 3 supervisor apprenticeship once he has completed level 2.

"The bonus of earning an excellent wage and a qualification is rare. I'd give the apprenticeship scheme a massive thumbs up to anyone looking for a career in hospitality or those who enjoy working in a lively and people-orientated environment. Ffolkes team are crazy, open-minded and fun", he says.

Owen is a kickass Ffolkes team member, and we wish him all the best on his journey through the business!

smashing it!

Mia and Owen have so far smashed their apprenticeships, and we love having them on the team! We look forward to enrolling the following many apprentices on the teams and hope their success mirrors that of Mia and Owen.



Take a look at our latest apprenticeship opportunities and apply online

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