Full of beans: A Starbucks case study

Awards preview: If you want to know how to run a successful apprenticeship programme, ask Lisa Robbins, director of partner resources at Starbucks EMEA.

Starbucks won Best Apprenticeship Programme at the 2016 TJ Awards – the prestigious event run by Training Journal magazine which recognises the best in learning, training and development. “Apprentices are truly part of our business from day one,” says Lisa.

“They earn the same rate of pay and benefits as any other partner [employee] and are guaranteed employment upon successful completion of the programme.” The Starbucks apprenticeship programme is open to all, including those who are not currently employed, and no qualifications are needed to apply.

“We recruit through local authorities, notgoingtouni.co.uk and through other sites such as the National Apprenticeship Service’s own register of opportunities,” Lisa explains.

On a day-to-day basis, Starbucks apprentices receive support and guidance from their store manager, their shift buddy, their barista trainer and their own personal assessor coach. These multiple layers of guidance help to instil confidence and encourage participants to reach their full potential.

We are passionate about the true potential for apprenticeships and want to bust the myth that a vocational route is not as credible as pursuing higher education.

Through a series of training programmes, coaching, mentoring and on-the-job experience, participants gain valuable transferable skills to support them in building a long-term retail career.
Since its launch in 2012, more than 1,500 apprentices have joined the scheme, with many progressing to run their own stores. The figures are impressive.

“To date, our programme – which, since its inception, we have run in partnership with Remit Training and BPP Professional Education – has ensured that 80% of people starting a Starbucks apprenticeship complete their training and remain within our business,” says Lisa.

“Career progression is a key focus for us and one in five apprentices have gone on to achieve a promotion at work. It means more than 250 of our apprentices are now in management positions. For example, 20% of level 2 baristas have been promoted to supervisory roles, and 23% of level 3 management apprentices have been promoted to store managers.”

But Starbucks isn’t a company to rest on its laurels. In March 2015, the company announced an expansion of the programme, committing to create another 1,000 apprenticeships by 2020. It also announced higher and degree level apprenticeships as well as professional qualifications so participants can study to the highest level, earning while they learn in disciplines such as management, digital and IT as well as in retail operations.

At the same time, Starbucks introduced the opportunity to improve literacy, numeracy and language skills to support progression for its employees.Beyond the apprenticeship programme, there’s the Headstart with Starbucks and Starbucks Youth Action programmes run in partnership with charities the Challenge and UK Youth.

They have, for several years, supported thousands of under-25- year-olds to get community projects or volunteering efforts on the ground, at the same time improving their skills and prospects for employment, including into real jobs at Starbucks.

At the end of last year, the company announced a new partnership with Movement to Work to help create further opportunities for young people to get a foot on the career ladder. Starting in London, Manchester and Birmingham, it will o er around 400 work experience placements to young people over the course of the next year.

“We’re extremely proud of our apprentices who have inspired many partners within our business,” says Lisa. “The recent recognition we’ve received for the programme both by Training Journal as Best Apprenticeship Programme and the Princess Royal Training Awards for creating careers for youths are testament to how the scheme continues to go from strength to strength.

“We are passionate about the true potential for apprenticeships and want to bust the myth that a vocational route is not as credible as pursuing higher education, so will continue our investment to expand with the same momentum and success in the coming years.”

Entering the TJ Awards 2017 is free and you can enter the same project in up to three categories. Deadline is 14 July! You can apply here


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