At just 16 years old and fresh out of school, Jason Orme had his sights set on a career in law. During his first A Level year, he started working as a pot washer at his local pub in Gosport to fund his way through university. However, while in the kitchen, Jason was given the opportunity to learn more about food preparation and how a professional kitchen works and, as he started to take a keen interest in hospitality, his career ambitions began to shift.

“When I was 18 I completed my A-Levels but decided to stay working at the pub and move into a more customer-facing role. I started to progress and by the time I was 21 I had worked my way up to assistant manager.

“By now I had decided that I wanted a career in hospitality and undertook a Level Two apprenticeship in Food & Beverage. I was promoted to supervisor six months later and around the same time I started another apprenticeship qualification, this time in team leadership.

“Before long I became a relief deputy general manager for 18 pubs in the area. While doing that role I still wanted to continue to develop, particularly my leadership skills, so I enrolled onto the Management Development Programme qualification, which prepares assistant managers to become general managers.

“While I was providing relief cover, I was headhunted for a general manager role. I was 24 years old at the time but felt confident that I could do the job, so I jumped at the chance and am still enjoying the role of GM now.

“The apprenticeship programme, in addition to equipping me with the technical skills and knowledge I needed to do the role, also really helped to improve my self–motivation and confidence. Both of those things have really contributed to my success to date.

“I’m really proud of how much I’ve developed over the past eight years; never did I think I’d have got to where I am today. I’m not finished though, I’m planning to enrol onto a Level Four Management Apprenticeship, equivalent to a degree, and have my sights set on becoming a business development manager within the next five years which would focus more on providing business support and mentorship to a number of general managers.

“My advice for young people collecting their results this week is to go for the path that you are most passionate about, determination and dedication will always see you through!”