Starbucks UK Expands Apprenticeship Programme

Before David Elson became a Starbucks barista in the UK, he would have described himself as someone who was struggling to develop self-confidence. Today, the 23-year-old takes pride in remembering the names of customers’ favourite football teams and aims to become a Starbucks store manager.

“My support network is fantastic," he said. "I am now considering putting myself forward for bigger things."

April Colwell, 19, experienced a similar transformation. She came to Starbucks last year in search of direction and quickly made a connection with store partners (employees) and customers. Now she's beginning to consider her path upward with the company.

“I have found I thrive in a coffeehouse environment, making drinks and interacting with customers on a day-to-day basis. I'm thinking about my career progression into a supervisor role at Starbucks," she said.

Elson and Colwell both came to Starbucks through a programme in the UK that has placed over 1,000 apprentices in stores since its launch in 2012. The opportunity has resulted in promotions for one in five apprentices.

Creating Opportunities for Young People

In tandem with National Apprenticeship Week (March 14-18), Starbucks is expanding its apprenticeship programme to include those with higher degrees by offering apprenticeships in management and leadership roles. The move will create 1,000 additional apprenticeships. Last year, over 6,000 applications were received for 250 openings.

For the first time, in addition to levels 2 and 3 (which allow entry to advanced and higher apprenticeships respectively), level 4, 5 and 6 apprenticeships will be made available in a range of disciplines, including digital, legal and management. Levels 5 and 6 form the basis of a foundation or full degree. In addition to adding apprenticeships at the retail level, Starbucks will offer a range of professional services apprenticeships in its UK Support Centre.

“We are really proud of our apprentices, said Carol Muldoon, vice president of Partner Resources for Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “They have really inspired many partners and leaders in our business and we have grown our offer because of them. With this expansion, we want to be an employer of choice for apprenticeships and youth opportunity.”

The national goal is to create three million more apprenticeships by 2020. At Starbucks UK, 80 percent of the young people who start apprenticeships complete their full diploma and remain in the business, and 11 percent of the company’s baristas and supervisors are undertaking an apprenticeship.

“Starbucks is offering young people opportunities to learn retail and business skills while working and earning,” said Nick Boles, Minister of State. “Apprenticeships open doors for young people around the country.”

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New, more sustainable Starbucks cold cups are made with up to 20 percent less plastic