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National Apprenticeship Week 2024

This National Apprenticeship Week, we’re celebrating all of our apprentices from across the business. Our apprenticeship programme has been running since 2011 and has supported over 17,200 apprentices to date. In this time we’ve seen many success stories of our team members building their careers in our pubs, support centres and breweries through an apprenticeship with us.

We thought we’d share a couple of stories from two of our apprentices, who have very different roles, but are both important in keeping our pubs running everyday.

Lianne Bakdur, Brewing Apprentice at Greene King’s Westgate Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

After 13 years working in the finance team at Greene King, Lianne decided that it was time for a change, and looked into pursuing a career in brewing. However, with two young children at home, leaving the workplace, and her income, for further education wasn’t an option.

Being on site at Greene King’s brewery in Bury St Edmunds, Lianne had enjoyed daily beer tastings, which are open to all team members. While that was not enough to qualify her as a brewer, it helped to improve her knowledge and ignited an interest in a possible career in brewing.

When applications for Greene King’s brewing apprenticeship next opened, Lianne jumped at the opportunity to apply. The qualification was the first brewing apprenticeship developed in the UK when it launched in 2018. With no experience or qualifications required, it provides a way for people of all ages to get into the industry.

The change has been extraordinary. She’s swapped Outlook for Abbot Ale and feels rejuvenated in her career. The hands-on element of brewing is something Lianne had missed in her previous role, even if she is still required to do lots of calculations to make sure the beer comes out right!

The apprenticeship has helped her not just stay in the industry, but gain a qualification. She is grateful for the support that the company has given her and hopeful that she can continue to progress and become the ‘Head Brewer of Tomorrow’ that Greene King is hoping to produce.

Rebecca Whittaker, Apprentice Building Surveyor, Derby

When Rebecca was leaving school, her teachers kept encouraging her to apply to university full-time. In fact, many suggested that it was the only viable option available for her if she wanted to reach her goal of a career in building surveying.

Rebecca was hesitant about this route. She had been in full-time education since the age of four and was keen to experience what life was like in a working environment and was concerned about the level of debt a degree would burden her with.

The idea of an apprenticeship was appealing but when she searched through surveying firms for openings, Rebecca was put off by the prospect of focusing on office blocks and apartment buildings and the idea of jumping from project to project with little sense of satisfaction.

A friend of her parents suggested that Rebecca consider a job in an in-house property team instead. Despite working in a pub as a teenager, she hadn’t considered the wider career opportunities within hospitality. But joining Greene King allowed her to pursue her passion for construction while helping to preserve pubs as central hubs at their heart of communities.

Fast forward five years and Rebecca is a central member of her team, responsible for overseeing the maintenance of 42 pubs and has developed strong relationships with many of the contractors and pub managers that she works with. She has also earned a university degree, where lots of the other students were jealous of the practical experience she received.

Rebecca loves working across so many sites, which has accelerated her development and meant that no two days are ever the same. She would highly recommend an apprenticeship as a great way to pursue career interests, while still getting the chance to study and gain a qualification.

For more information about our apprenticeships go to: