Apprenticeships: Feeding your future growth

Apprenticeships: Feeding your future growth

November 30, 2016
Lucy Taylor and apprentice Katrina Pietersen at Pho restaurant in Ealing

For the fourth year running, a ‘100-in-100’ campaign run by the council’s Ealing Apprenticeship Network has been achieving pledges from local businesses to create job placements.

The idea is to see 100 apprenticeships pledged over a 100-day period between September and December. The final day to make pledges is 9 December, so it is not too late to get involved.

Since the campaign launched in 2012, more than 100 businesses have benefited from joining the Network and more than 450 apprenticeship vacancies have been created. The placements combine a job with training and each take a minimum of a year to complete. Statistics show that for every £1 spent on an apprentice, an employer reaps £18 in return.

One of these businesses Pho, a Vietnamese cuisine restaurant, has taken on five apprentices through the campaign already and has pledged to take on more this year.

You can see a running total of the businesses signed up on a dedicated page of the council’s website.

A meal at Pho
A meal at Pho, prepared by Katrina

Lucy Taylor, Pho’s head of people, said the company had changed the way it hires – and is focusing on ‘social recruitment’, making employment opportunities more accessible for younger people across its 19 restaurants – including Ealing Broadway. As part of this commitment, Pho also offers apprentices the same wage as their regular full-time staff.

“For Pho it’s about the ethos that we can train someone to be a chef, waitress or front of house, and we can give them that first step in the door,” said Lucy. “If someone is willing to learn then we’ve got the tools and the people to be able to teach them.

“It’s also good for our teams, and managers, to be involved in developing other people. Every restaurant which has an apprentice really enjoys the fact that they are a part of helping someone develop and grow. While the first few months can sometimes be a little hard work, when you’re looking down the line five months later and you see how much someone has changed it makes it all worth it.”

Apprentice Katrina Pietersen at Pho restaurant in Ealing - she wants to open her own restaurant one day
Apprentice Katrina Pietersen at Pho restaurant in Ealing – she wants to open her own restaurant one day

Katrina Pietersen, 24, began her apprenticeship with Pho at the beginning of the year as a salad chef and is currently working towards her NVQ level 2 qualification in catering.

She said: “Eventually I want to be able to open my own restaurant and, by doing an apprenticeship with Pho, I’m getting the support, training and experience I need to progress my career.

“There’s a lot of support from other chefs, I’m always learning on the job, and gaining experience of working really fast and under pressure in a restaurant kitchen.”


Ealing Apprenticeship Network supports businesses in setting up the apprenticeships and the training programme required, while helping to match a young person to the placement.

It is still possible for businesses to sign up – and the network is also now looking for young people aged 16-24 interested in applying to fill the positions that are available. See the information box on these pages to find out how to get in touch. As this story was published, more than 170 pledges had been made already – a record number for the campaign.

Councillor Peter Mason, the council’s cabinet member for prosperity, skills, employment and transformation, said: “Ensuring our young people are equipped to get into well paid jobs is a key priority for us. Apprenticeships not only provide another route into a lifelong career, they also offer the kind of on-the-job training you don’t get elsewhere.

“There are real benefits for businesses who take on apprentices, and that’s proven by the fact that more apprentices have been recruited above and beyond the target we’ve set each and every year. This year I hope employers will go even further: We’ve already smashed the target of 100 apprenticeships in 100 days.”

Your future? What employers are saying
  • 80% have reported a significant increase in employee retention
  • 77% believe apprenticeships make them more competitive
  • 76% agree apprenticeships make their workplace more productive
  • 92% believe that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce
  • 75% have reported reduced recruitment costs
  • 90% of apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship
  • 71% of apprentices stay with the same employer

Data compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service