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Local apprentice pours himself a cup of ambition

29 Nov 2022
Jake Atkinson and Emily Bentley at Bentley's Coffee Shop

Local family run business, Bentley’s Coffee Shop, took on their first apprentice at the beginning of the year and have been stunned by their apprentice’s recent growth and successes. Jake Atkinson has been completing his Level 2 Hospitality apprenticeship with Bentley’s Coffee Shop and has recently won ‘Hospitality Apprentice of the Year’ at the 2022 Northern Skills Apprenticeship Awards.

Emily Bentley, Co-owner and Director at Bentley’s Coffee Shop comments on Jakes successes: “When we found out Jake had been nominated for the ‘Hospitality Apprentice of the Year’ award we were stunned, Jake has come such a long way since joining us and we could not feel prouder. We were all anxiously waiting at the awards to hear if Jake had won or not, and when they said his name, I found it difficult not to well up – he has worked so hard, and I am so glad that has been recognised by the College. It was so special to be at the awards with Jake and his family, he feels like an extended part of our family, and I felt so lucky to be there to celebrate his success with him.”

Jake says: “I was so nervous arriving at the awards, I really did not expect to win! When they announced my name, I felt incredible, I am so proud of everything I have achieved so far, and I can’t thank Bentley’s Coffee Shop enough for how they have supported me.”

The Northern Skills Apprenticeship Awards take place every year, and those apprentices who have impressed the most are put forward to receive an award in their programme sector.

Jake has massively impressed his tutor, Darren Thrower, who says: “Jake started with his apprenticeship in January this year and has progressed exceptionally well. He has taken ownership of his learning and is always willing to learn new knowledge to further his understanding of topics. In every session Jake is fully engaged and can translate this information into his job role. Jake has real passion for what he does and the feedback from managers and employers is always positive. Considering that Jake is still quite young he has shown a maturity beyond his age regarding his positive attitude, personal abilities, willingness to learn and overall contribution to the business.”

Many businesses across the UK see apprenticeships as a cost-effective way to recruit new staff and incorporate it into their business growth strategy. Apprenticeships not only increase productivity but also ensure your workforce is highly skilled and ahead of latest developments in the industry.

Emily continues to say: “Jake has become a real asset to our team, he works so well independently but also with our other staff members. Jake can practically run the shop on his own and we trust him to do that, he has shown us he is responsible and is always keen to push himself further to take on a new challenge.

“We would recommend taking on an apprentice to any business, and we hope to take on more apprentices in the future – as long as they are a right team fit for our business like Jake has been.”

Jake finishes by saying: “I have made some brilliant connections throughout my apprenticeship; it’s really brought me out of my comfort zone, and I feel way more confident now than I ever have before. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone, it’s helped me so much.

“I look forward to continuing my career in hospitality and hope to own my own business one day – that’s the long-term goal for me and I think I will get there!”

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