Costa to offer 6,000 apprenticeships over the next five years

Frothing a cup of coffee is being given a vocational qualification – with Costa launching an apprenticeship scheme, reports The Telegraph.

Whitbread, which owns the coffee shop chain along with Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre and Beefeater, is massively expanding its training programme by taking on 6,000 apprentices over the next five years.
The FTSE 100 company has been running an apprenticeship scheme through its budget hotel business for five years, which 1,100 staff have completed and a further 1,000 are still working on.

However, the business, which has 45,000 staff, has now decided to expand the training programme into its Costa Coffee chain as part of a £5.7m investment.

Andy Harrison, chief executive, said: “Our team members are our greatest asset and it’s vital we invest in them, creating opportunities to develop their skills and build their careers.

“I believe that investing in apprenticeships is essential to Whitbread’s future success and to the health of the UK economy, as well as helping the next generation to achieve their full potential.”

Launching in the summer, the Costa programme will start out as an intermediate level apprenticeship – equivalent to five GCSEs. As well as teaching how to make hot drinks, it will also include customer service, communication and team-building skills.

Over the coming five years, Whitbread expects about one-in-six of 6,000 new apprentices to be on the Costa scheme.

Whitbread, which had annual revenues of £2.3bn last year, currently offers intermediate, advanced and higher level apprenticeships through its Premier Inn brand. The company said apprentices are 45pc more likely to stay with the business, and of those who complete the training, 95pc move into management roles.