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FOURTEAS APPRENTICE RECEIVES WELL-DESERVED AWARD WIN

A hospitality apprentice working at The Fourteas cafe in Stratford-upon-Avon has been awarded the title Apprentice of the Year by Stratford-upon-Avon College.

Vicky Batchelor, Deputy Manager at The Fourteas, is completing a Hospitality Supervision and Leadership Apprenticeship, and was presented with the award at Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Student Award Ceremony.

Coventry-based Vicky jumped at the chance to embark on an apprenticeship programme a year ago after she gained experience running the Fourteas for a short period while the business’ proprietor, Rachael Barber, was on leave. On Rachael’s return, they discussed how Vicky could develop herself further and quickly decided an apprenticeship was the best way forward.

Loving the work environment at the café, in particular dealing with the customers, Vicky is in her element during the busy weekends and many fast-paced lunch times at the Fourteas. Speaking of the benefits the apprenticeship has given her, she commented “The apprenticeship has made me think more about the day-to-day running of the business. If I’ve had any concerns at work, I’ve been able to bounce ideas off my tutor which has always presented different solutions to me.”

Hospitality Supervision and Leadership Apprentice Vicky Batchelor (left) with The Fourteas’ proprietor, Rachael Barber

Rachael, Vicky’s manager, couldn’t be happier with Vicky’s progress throughout the apprenticeship. “She’s definitely grown in confidence, and is much more willing to take on a leadership role and control the staff.” She has even noted a change in her other staff, many of whom, inspired by how much Vicky has developed, have progressed along with her.

Vicky is grateful to the College for the support it has given her throughout her training. “The College has been fantastic and so supportive. I’ve been resitting my maths exams as part of the apprenticeship and they’ve even arranged for me to do my lessons here at the tea room with a personal tutor so I don’t have to leave work.”

She is confident that her training programme will allow her to realise her career aspirations. “I’ve always wanted to run my own tea room and I think the apprenticeship is going to allow me to do that. I’ve gained so much experience and become much more confident in myself.”

And reflecting on her well-deserved win, a surprised but delighted Vicky added “I didn’t go in there with high hopes but when I won it I was ecstatic. I couldn’t stop smiling for a week!”

Find out more about the College’s range of apprenticeships.