Our general manager Daryl Antwi-Safee shares his experience on having apprentice Nicole Pippo in his team.
Tell us about your apprentice Nicole.
Twenty-five-year-old Nicole joined us in 2015 as a general assistant, having recently moved to England from Italy. It only took a few weeks before I saw her enthusiasm and potential. Her love for coffee shone through which soon led to her promotion as barista supervisor, to which her leadership skills became apparent. Nicole has recently accepted the role of front of house supervisor, overseeing a team of 10. It wasn’t long before I suggested to Nicole that she should join the Service Academy, BaxterStorey’s front of house-training programme, and the rest is history!
How does Nicole manager her workload?
She manages to juggle working and studying well – you just need to organise yourself to make sure you stay on top of the workload. Both myself and our hospitality manager Luis Azevedo support Nicole with her coursework and any queries she may have.
Is your client supportive of Nicole?
Our client is a huge supporter of training and development. They’ve seen for themselves the change in Nicole’s confidence. During our quarterly marketing reviews, we show the client what the team have learnt on their apprenticeship journey and the results of their training.
Training is incredibly important – when someone in your team has something to aim for, their drive accelerates. Nicole’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn is admirable.
Over the last three years, four of our chefs, from our relief chef James to head chef Craig have been on the Chef Academy. We’re a busy team here at Red Bull!
How has the apprenticeship opened opportunities for Nicole?
Without learning the knowledge, she has on the Service Academy, Nicole wouldn’t have been able to progress so quickly into her supervisory role. She’s recently developed her own business project, a waffle bar, with the aim of providing healthier breakfast options to our customers, including oat milk crepes and almond milk pancakes.
She’s learnt so much on the Academy, from costings and calculating wastage, to the importance of upselling and communication. I have seen such a change in her confidence, she’s more assertive with the team, giving them guidance where needed. She’s gone from being a friend, to managing the front of house team.
Last year, Nicole graduated from the Academy with a distinction, so who knows what’s next in store for her!
Do you think apprenticeships are a solution to the recruitment shortage?
When a lot of my team started on their BaxterStorey journey, they were unsure of what they wanted to do long term, but apprenticeships open so many doors to career opportunities and prepare you for the next steps to develop your career. What’s better than earning while you learn? You get the best of both worlds!
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