Stratford-upon-Avon College Apprentices are a perfect fit for Tailor’s Restaurant, with the company employing not one, but two apprentices to work for them.
Apprentices Aimie Payne, 17 and Reuben Haycox, 17, both from Warwick, envision futures in the industry and have looked to their hometown to start their journeys.
Situated in in Warwick’s historic Market Place, Tailor’s Restaurant is owned and run by chefs Dan Cavell and Mark Fry. They aim to create menus of outstanding quality using locally sourced and foraged ingredients. After nearly 30 years in the trade, they are keen to share their knowledge and skills with young people, with Mark commenting: “When you go into the trade, it is best to learn from the best places, and we knew we could offer that and provide a good learning foundation. We have worked in Michelin Star restaurants and wanted to pass on our experiences.”
They decided apprenticeships were a good way to do just that. Mark had direct experience in this area: “I was an apprentice at the College and what I learnt set me up for the future. I knew it worked for me.”
Aimie is working Front of House providing service, doing the set up and working with stock. She has always had an interest in hospitality: “I wanted to run a pub as a kid so I have always been interested. I didn’t get the grades to go to sixth form and knew I would end up dropping out of college. I worked here at weekends and when they offered the apprenticeship I was really happy.”
Reuben Haycox, 17, from Warwick, is also an apprentice at Tailor’s, but can be found in the kitchen: “I want to be a Chef, eventually maybe become a chef in my own restaurant and provide fine dining.” The apprenticeship offers direct practical training which will help him to achieve this: “It’s more on the job experience than you would get in a classroom. Also, I am working with good people and the best quality food.”
Owners Mark and Dan are very pleased with their experience so far: “There has been excellent communication and support from the College. We would definitely encourage other businesses to consider using apprentices.” Mark also highlights the incentives from a business point of view: “Hiring staff is expensive and coming out of a bad time (like the pandemic) with support and funding to aid with wages is helpful.” But finances aren’t the only positives: “The apprentices bring positive attitude and a fresh perspective which is very exciting as it can open your eyes to new ideas. They really do bring a lot to the table!”