Six ambitious individuals have signed career-enhancing apprenticeship contracts with a leading Manchester-based brewery.

JW Lees have given six young people the chance to fulfil their career ambitions through a unique apprenticeship opportunity which will see them undertake the Commis chef programme. During their apprenticeship, these budding catering entrepreneurs will be employed within JW Lees’ pubs and will cover areas such as food safety, food preparation and technical skills.

The six apprentices were hand-picked from a group of 20 candidates following a vigorous recruitment process which included both team and individual practical tests. The successful candidates were invited to JW Lees Greengate Brewery in Middleton where they enjoyed an induction talk about the business, followed by an exciting Brewery tour which introduced them to the brewing process.

Liam Stott, JW Lees Recruitment and Training Manager, said, “This is an exciting and unique opportunity which we have provided to aspiring student/chefs who are looking for that opportunity to work within the hospitality industry. It has taken over three months to plan but it has been worthwhile to invite the chosen students into our Greengate Brewery, which has been home to JW Lees since 1828 and for them to see exactly why the Brewery is the heart of JW Lees.

This process was first trialled in 2019 with Trafford College to support South Manchester based Pubs, Inns and Hotels and with this huge success, we have now selected to partner with Bury College for North Manchester and Bangor College for our Welsh contingent of Hotels and Inns.

JW Lees will continue to work closely with all colleges, especially Bury College where we can continue to provide students with paid work placements and the opportunity to join JW Lees as Commis chefs once their college course and work placement has finished.

The overall aim has been to bridge the gap between employer and local colleges so that JW Lees can continue to be the employer of choice for the next generation of chefs who are looking for exciting opportunities to work within our Pubs, Inns and Hotels across the North West and North Wales”.

Kenneth Caswell, Bury College Hospitality and Catering Apprenticeship Learning and Skills Coach added, “Bury College is delighted to have been selected as the apprenticeship provider of choice for JW Lees. We have now placed six students on programmes at a variety of JW Lees sites and were proud to witness the students signing their contracts, receiving their uniforms and enjoying a brewery tour. 

The recruitment process brought out the best in our students and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside the team at JW Lees. We very much look forward to building on this relationship over the coming months.”

Navaeah Bryan was delighted to be one of the individuals selected to undertake the apprenticeship opportunity. The former Parrenthorn High School pupil said, “I am so excited about starting this apprenticeship as it will help me to reach my goals and I will gain some great hands-on industry experience. My long-term goal is to own and run my own restaurant and I feel that this apprenticeship is the start of that journey.”

For more information about Bury College apprenticeships please click here.

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