Apprenticeships - Hospitality, Leisure & Food

Going to university and pursuing a degree is not the only option available to bright students. With the significant cost of a degree combined with its potential devaluation, you may want at least to consider your options. There are a number of firms offering very attractive School Leaver Programmes. These are well paid and you may find run parallel to many graduate schemes. They have the attraction of being less competitive at A level entry, therefore gaining you entry into an organisation that you may struggle to secure as a graduate, when the competition is fiercer. You will also be debt free. These schemes are becoming increasingly popular with employers.

Schemes include:

Airline: British Airways Apprenticeships

British AirwaysBritish Airways offers a range of apprenticeships (which have differeing entry requirments) in the following areas: 

  • Head Office - a 2 year programme to study for level 3 Business & Administration. There are four placements across the business. 
  • Heathrow Operations - this programme will equip you with the skills required to be an Aircradt Ground Handlre. Its an 18 month programme and involves various placementssuch as baggage handling, ramp handling and ground logistics.
  • IT Programme - this lasts 24 months and you will train to be an IT Software Engineer (the Higher Apprenticeship Programme) or IT operations (advanced apprenticeship programme). The former role will develop your understanding of programming, system testing, analysis and design and you will help deliver real IT projects that will benefit the airline.
  • Project Management - this is a two-and-a-half-year Higher apprenticeship Programme, acquiring a Level 4 NVQ in Project Management
  • World Cargo - This apprenticeship, lasting up to two years, will give you the skills and experience required to work in a logistics based operation. Through three different placements; two within warehousing functions and one in a clerical role, you will learn the basics of global logistics, customer service and administration skills.
  • Engineering - Business & Administration - The Business and Administration apprenticeship is a two-year programme run in conjunction with Farnborough College with the aim of delivering a number of talented individuals to support the engineering department. The first year involves six weeks in BAs engineering training school workshops gaining a practical understanding of engineering principles, which will involve riveting, wiring and component overhaul. This will then be followed by placements around the engineering support areas including Training, Quality, Commercial, Inventory Management, Planning and Production areas to name a few.
  • Engineering Technical - The Technical apprenticeship is a three-year programme run in conjunction with one of four partner colleges; Brooklands, Farnborough, Kingston or Uxbridge.The first year will be spent full-time at college gaining both the practical and theoretical skills related to aircraft maintenance that are required to become an aircraft engineer. At the end of the first year students will be required to apply to British Airways for a placement and go through an interview process. Successful candidates will be able to complete years two and three of the apprenticeship with British Airways on a paid two-year, fixed-term contract based at Heathrow Airport.
  • Financial Services - These apprentice positions involve studying for a level 2 qualification in Business & Administration.The Finance Services department performs a crucial role in planning, processing, collecting and reporting revenues. The Finance Services Apprentice role works in the heart of these business functions. 


Practice tailored psychometric tests similar to the ones used by British Airways HERE.

Airlines: Pilot Training

Are you interested in training to become a pilot? 

There are a number of flight training organisations which will train you. Three leading ones in Europe, that work with a number of airlines are:

L3 Airline Academy 

CAE Oxford Aviation Academy

FTE Jerez

They offer pilot ATPL training courses with airlines such as British Airways, Easyjet, Emirates, Monarch, Jetstar, Flybe, Qatar, Air Asia, Aer Lingus, Thomas cook, Thomson and  Royal Brunel. 

Applications can be through the airline website or the website of the training organisations. If through the airline, you may be asked to select a training organisation - they are different - and your application will then to sent to them. Your first interview will be with the training company. 

Pilot training is expensive  - in the region of £70,000 - £80,000. Some airlines, such as British Airways and Easyjet will sponsor you and will cover these costs initially, and then recoup the investment over a number of years once you have become a pilot with them.  

Take a look at BAs Future Pilot Scheme for an overview of the programmes.  They require 5 GCSEs at grade C or above (including english, maths and a science)  and 3 A Levels grades BBC. Most airlines however do not require A Levels. 

Have a look at all the airline programmes - such as the  Emirates pilot training programme

Food Manufacturing: Bakkavor Apprenticeships

bakkavorBakkavor specialise in making and developing private label prepared foods for the top global grocery retailers and well-known international foodservice operators, such as Waitrose, Tesco. M&S and Sainsburys. They offer 5 apprenticeship schemes in: Administration, Technical, Development, Engineering and Manfacturing. The schemes are specifically designed to combine employment, work-based training and off-the-job learning and are 2 years in length. They aim s to develop your skills in a real food manufacturing environment. You will need a minimum of a Grade C GCSE in Maths and English (plus Science if applying for Technical or Engineering) or equivalent qualification. The starting salary of £10,500 per year. You will study towards an IPQ level 3 Diploma in Foods Industry Skills or other relevant nationally recognised qualifications.

Development Scheme: Development isn’t just cooking products in the kitchen – it is getting to know the detail of each raw ingredient that goes into products, developing ideas/recipes that turn into products that consumers want to buy, and identifying where there are gaps in the market for new concepts. The Advanced Apprenticeship in Food Development is an ideal opportunity if you are a young ‘foodie’ with an interest in all foods and how they are made. It will give you a clear understanding of the key development purpose and how it links to the manufacturing of our products.

Manufacturing Scheme: The Advanced Apprenticeship in Manufacturing is an ideal opportunity if you are interested in the different stages involved in efficient food production. It will give you a clear understanding of the key manufacturing processes including planning, safe machinery operation and resource management, in addition to enabling you to gain experience in a supervisory role. Depending on the site, the scheme may offer placements within a factory based role with responsibility for a team, running production lines, quality and output costs.

Technical Scheme: Technical at Bakkavor is about ensuring they conform to customer, safety, quality and legislative standards. The Advanced Apprenticeship in Food Technology is an ideal opportunity for you to gain a clear understanding of food safety within a food manufacturing environment; partly through gaining a nationally recognised qualification, and partly through work-based experience.

Administration Scheme: The Level 3 Apprenticeship Scheme in Business Administration is an ideal opportunity if you are interested in working within one of the support functions involved within a fast-moving food manufacturing business, with vacancies in the Commercial or Planning functions. As Bakkavor operates in one of the fastest growing sectors of the food industry, the commercial team is an important function generating links with major high street retailers and customers. The planning functions are responsible for the scheduling of production and provision of materials for our business.

Engineering Scheme: This scheme focuses on the engineering side of the business. From new product development where they could be launching hundreds of new products each year to new business start ups, Engineers are at the forefront, ensuring that Bakkavor can deliver to its customers.

Food Science: Mars R&D Apprenticeship

marsMars  wmploys nearly 4,000 associates across several sites in the UK, and manufacture confectionery, food, petcare and drinks products, with brands including MARS, SNICKERS, GALAXY, MALTESERS, EXTRA, ORBIT, PEDIGREE, WHISKAS, UNCLE BEN’S, DOLMIO, KLIX and FLAVIA.They offer an R&D Apprenticeship which provides an opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience in one of the most important parts of their business – R&D. It’s a chance to turn your interest in food, food science and chemistry into an exciting, long-term career. Over the course of the two-year, on-site programme, you’ll have access to work-based learning at university level – and will gain a Level 4 Diploma in Research & Development. In terms of the role itself, you’ll be supporting innovation teams within the Mars R&D kitchen, as well as taking on all sorts of interesting packing challenges and supporting the wider R&D community.

You’ll need A-levels at grade C or above – if they’re in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths subjects, that would be an advantage. Alternatively, you could have a BTEC diploma, a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, experience in the R&D industry or a degree in a STEM subject. Either way, you'll need to show a real passion for food, food science and chemistry, along with strong communication and listening skills, and plenty of self-motivation.

In terms of the process, initially you need to send your CV and cover letter through the Mars website. The next stage is a telephone interview followed by an online numerical test. If you do well at this stage, you will be invited to a panel day, including a group discussion exercise, a problem solving exercise, a presentation on your greatest achievement, an interview and a factory tour with one of the current apprentices so you can see the environment for yourself, and hear about life with Mars as an apprentice from someone who’s already been in your shoes.


Food: Pret Apprenticeships

Pret, Pret A Manger (or Pret) is a British company offering a selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps, baguettes, hot food and organic teas and coffees. Using quality ingredients, all fresh products are hand-made on-site in Pret’s shop kitchens every day. Unsold food items are donated to local homeless charities in the evenings.

Just over 30 years after opening its first shop in London, Pret now has around 450 locations in the UK, US, France, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.

Pret offers a year-long apprenticeship, "The Pret Apprenticeship", which aims to give you the opportunity and support to start your careers straight away, while also gaining a Level 2 apprenticeship.

Available to school leavers, gap year students and recent graduates across the UK, each successful applicant is given a full-time shop based role and support from their in house Pret Apprenticeship Team. 80% of Pret Managers started as Team Members, so the opportunities to climb the ladder at Pret are significant.

No matter your age, participants will be paid Pret’s starting salary of £7.85 or £7.65 an hour (depending on location), with eligibility to receive an extra £1 an hour weekly Mystery Shopper bonus, after 12 weeks. You will also receive Pret’s benefits and perks, including weekly pay, free food on shift, a 50% discount when not, paid breaks and 28 days’ holiday. 

Hairdressing & Barbering: LHAA Apprenticeships

lhaaLHAA . The London Hairdressing Apprenticeship Academy (LHAA) is a vocational training organisation that specialises in high quality hairdressing training. They offer Apprenticeships at their state of the art hairdressing academies based in Borehamwood (Hertfordshire), Camden (London), Chiswick (West London), Croydon (South London) and Loughton (Essex). 

They offer apprenticeships in both hairdressing and barbering

Hospitality: Green King Apprenticeships

Green King is one of the country’s leading pub and brewing companies. They manage and lease over 3,000 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK – and have been brewing ales for over 200 years. They offer a range of apprenticeships. 

An apprenticeship with Greene King is a work-based programme lasting 12 months that is matched to a variety of jobs in their bars, restaurants and hotels. It’s a great way to gain a nationally recognised qualification, get hands-on experience and develop the skills that will enable you to progress in Front of House and Kitchen roles, right up to supervisory and management levels.

They offer apprenticeships are at all levels-  from level 2 to level 4 for potential managers and leaders. All you training will be paid for and you will also earn a salary. 

Hospitality: Mitchells & Butlers Pub & Restaurant Apprenticeships

mitchellsbutlerMitchells & Butlers are the largest managed restaurant & pub company in the UK. They offer a huge range of career opportunities in Hospitality Retail, from Management and Administration jobs in Head Office, right through to General Manager jobs in one of their pubs or restaurants

They offer a Management Development Apprenticeship programme. These opportunities are recruited for in June/July every year in key brand development sites. They last 3 years and are aimed at developing talented individuals into  future managers. They offer two development routes Guest Service and Kitchen. You will also complete externally delivered and accredited qualifications.

The typical types of skills you will develop in Kitchen route include: stock ordering and management, cooking skills, preparing ingredients, operating kitchen equipment, cooking to recipes, maintaining quality standards, as well as leadership, communication and management skills. Many of these skills will be developed in your work place and supported by monthly added value activity workshops.

All the Assistant and General Managers also have the opportunities to progress onto a part time work based Foundation and (BA Hons) Degree with a recognised University. So, if you're looking to take your first step into the Hospitality Industry or entry into management with first class support, training, salary and a recognised qualification this may be for you. 

Leisure: Travelodge Management Apprenticeship Programme

travellodgeTravelodge are one of the fastest growing budget brand hotels. They offer a 2 year Management Apprenticeship Programme, where you will be paid, learn about their business and also continue with your education and learning. . All giving you the opportunity to become a Hotel Manager within 3 years of joining.

During your first 9 months you will get to know a Travelodge hotel in detail, experiencing each of the hotel team member roles (reception, bar café (if hotel has this facility) and housekeeping) for yourself as well as completing your level 2 Apprenticeship in Multi-Skilled Hospitality.

For the remainder of the programme you will gain further in depth practical experience of what working in a Travelodge hotel means, learning supervisory skills and completing both the First Steps to Management and a Level 3 Diploma (Advanced Apprenticeship) in Hospitality Supervision and Leadership.

To apply for the Management Apprenticeship Programme you must meet the following essential criteria:

-         You’ll be 18 - 24 years old, with EU residency for a minimum 3 years and the ability to reside in UK.

-         You’ll possess 5 GCSE passes (Grade C) including Maths & English, plus 2 A levels (Grade C) or equivalent UCAS points.

-         You’ll not have obtained a previous degree or equivalent vocational qualification.

Applications are considered from March onwards. 

Leisure: TUI Travel Commercial Apprenticeship

tuitravelTUI Travel are one of the worlds largest leisure travel groups. First Choice and Thomson are part of the group. They operate in over 180 countries, offering a portfolio of more than 200 leading brands to over 30 million holidaymakers each year.

As a Commercial Apprentice on this two year Commercial Apprenticeship Scheme you will get a great insight into planning, pricing and selling TUI and First Choice holiday experiences. This role will involve 2 placements (each one year) in 2 of 3 core commercial departments; Product Planning, Trading & Aviation Planning. All three roles are well positioned to gain full insight into the Commercial functions of a Tour Operator.

Within the Trading team you will learn how flights seats are filled and hotel beds at the right price, in order to hit key targets, as well as how TUI monitor our competitor’s activity. 
Within the Product Management team you will be learning how they select which new holiday concepts and hotels to offer customers, as well as how they price them and show them to the customer on websites, in retail stores and on social media.

Within our Aviation Planning Team, you will get a great insight into how flying programmes are planned and managed. You will work within the Aviation Support team loading flying into systems, managing seasonal changes to the programmes, and then communicating these changes internally and externally to suppliers and customers.

The recruitment process consists of an application form, telephone interview and then an assessment day comprising different exercises as well as an interview.

What they are looking for

  • Those that have recently completed their A-Level / College studies or are in their final year of A-Level / College studies.
  • Achieved a minimum of 112 UCAS points (based on the UCAS 2017 Tariff) or 280 UCAS points (based on the UCAS Tariff effective up to 2016)
  • Interest in the travel industry
  • Enthusiasm
  • Desire to learn
  • PC Literate with basic knowledge of Word and Excel desirable
  • Good numeracy and communication skills
  • Drive and determination to complete qualification

Travel: TUI Travel UK Management Degree Apprenticeship Programme

tuitravelTUI World is a travel company, comprising Thomson, First Choice, Crystal Ski and Flexi Ski, who specialise in providng mainstream holidays, specilaist travel and accomodation. They operate in over 180 countries, offering a portfolio of more than 200 leading brands to over 30 million holidaymakers each year.

This is a fantastic opportunity to earn while you learn, working full-time for TUI in a variety of roles on a rotation basis including their airline TUI Airways, Business Change and Commercial functions and completing a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree level apprenticeship over four years.

They are partnering with the University of Hertfordshire to deliver this degree. The Degree in Management is bespoke and designed by TUI and the University to reflect the modern needs of a global travel business with learning modules such as hotel design, digital marketing and data science as well as management and leadership modules.

The blend of university lectures from the experienced faculty and TUI's own internal experts, along with assignments and opportunities to experience different functions across the business creates a rich and exciting four year learning experience.



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