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Prepping our apprentices for the daily grind

As a family-run business, Sim Trava has a set of core values that we encourage our people to strive towards at all times. And, recently, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to marry two of these core values together. That is, by pairing growing our people with our business (i.e. apprenticeships) with giving back to the local community – in the form of our most recent Macmillan Coffee Morning.

So how did we manage it? Well, as already alluded to, Sim Trava offers its own tailored apprenticeship programme for young people in the North. This one-year programme brings those typically aged 16-18 into the business and trains them up as baristas.

And, because we really see the value in apprenticeships, we’ve been making moves to increase our intake, so that they happen more regularly. Our most recent intake was a fortnight ago and saw us welcome four new young people into the Sim Trava family – Joshua, Liam, Latiesha and Tilly.

The new apprentices’ first week was mostly spent at our HQ in Altrincham, where Academy manager Brad brought them up to speed on all things Sim Trava and Costa Coffee.

Under Brad’s guidance, the apprentices were taught the basics of customer service and coffee-making, as well as health and safety. Away from the high-pressure coffee shop environment, the apprentices were able to familiarise themselves with in-store processes and how Sim Trava-owned Costa Coffee stores are typically run. The apprentices finished their first week having gained a better overview of how things work at Sim Trava, as well as some of the basic skills needed for the daily grind of life as a Costa barista.

The second week on the job, however, saw things get a little bit more difficult as the apprentices began to broaden their knowledge of our food and drink range. Brad spent time with the new-starts helping them to translate theory into practice and teaching them how to make the more complicated drinks that require a degree of technical skill.

And then the big test came.  Towards the end of their second week, we held our welcoming those from neighbouring businesses around for coffee and a cake in aid of a worthwhile cause – Macmillan Cancer Care. The apprentices were tasked with hosting and running the event – treating the morning as if it were a mini-store. The apprentices took orders, prepared and served all drinks, as well as taking responsibility for cash-handling duties and till operation.

The morning was a huge success – we managed to raise £145 for Macmillan Cancer Support which we were really happy with. And, what’s more, the apprentices had managed to pull it off all on their own – impressing those who had attended with the smooth-running of the morning and their overall professionalism.

So, now the apprentices are finally assigned to their stores and the real work is starting – we’re excited for the journey ahead and to watch their skills develop as they progress through their apprenticeship. Best of luck guys, we know you’ll continue to impress!


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