Kenilworth pub provides hospitality industry foot in door with new apprentices

Promotional business feature: The City of London Business Libary
WCG Georgia & Joe Virgins & Castle team

A Kenilworth pub is helping young people to get a foot in the door of the hospitality industry with a trio of new apprenticeship opportunities.

The Famous Virgins & Castle on the old High Street in Kenilworth has been enjoying a return to business as usual as it steps up recruitment plans post pandemic lockdown.

With the support of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) and the National Apprenticeship Scheme the 16th century pub, which is run by award-winning hospitality group Caviar & Chips, has created three new exciting apprenticeship opportunities for 16 to 24-year-olds.

The three new apprenticeships will include roles in the kitchen and front of house as well as a team leader position.  The training will be partly on the job, combined with classroom-based theory over an 18-month period.

Since pubs, cafes and restaurants have been able to re-open back in July, the Virgins & Castle has been welcoming guests back through its doors.

The team added breakfast and lunch menus to their existing traditional pub menu and have now extended the opening to seven days a week from 9am to 11pm.

Julie Crump, Chief Operations Officer at Caviar & Chips, said: “We took over the running of the Everards brewery pub, the Virgins & Castle, in March 2020 – just before the world went into lockdown.  We had already been in discussions with Warwickshire College about creating apprenticeships with them and so it’s exciting to get started.

“Our wider business, Caviar & Chips, has worked with University College Birmingham and Aston University on a number of placements, internships and student projects. So it’s fantastic that our pub in Kenilworth can work with a local education provider, and Warwickshire College is a great institute.

“We’re really keen to create great opportunities for young people in the area wanting to work in the hospitality sector.  I’ve worked in the sector since the start of my career and loved it, but I know that it can have a reputation for long, unsociable hours and discord between kitchen and front of house.

“We want to buck this trend as we put a lot of time and investment in the development and wellbeing of our teams and these new apprenticeship opportunities will come into our business seeing this as the norm.”

Mark Eden, Director of Work-Based Learning at WCG, added: “The hospitality industry has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, so it’s great to see an establishment like the Virgins & Castle creating exciting employment opportunities for young people.

“We work with a wide range of local, region and national businesses and they have shown huge commitment to providing apprenticeships in the last few months – Caviar & Chips continue that trend.

“The ethos of the pub and hospitality business is perfect for the modern employment market and we look forward to working closely with Julie and her team in the future.”

WCG offers a wide range of apprenticeships in a variety of industries. For more information visit wcg.ac.uk/apprenticeships.

Applications for the roles of Hospitality Team Apprentices are now open and potential students can apply on the gov.uk website https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/-538059