Aaran Thornton - Head Barista

Aaran, 26, and another barista run Pop Cult Coffee, and pop up at events all over Birmingham. “We want to make really good coffee accessible to all – to take away any pretensions and provide excellent products,” he says.

Aaran has been head barista at SixEight Kafé in Birmingham for eight months. He trains staff and develops new products when time allows.

Apprenticeships are an ideal way for Aaran to study. “I’m a practical person who prefers to learn on the job so the apprenticeship suited my learning style and my variable shift patterns,” he says.

“This job is very customer-focused and interaction is a big part of my role. The apprenticeship has helped me recognise this and has given me the additional skills and knowledge to be successful.”

Aaran completed a Customer Service NVQ with a previous employer and has since gained an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Team Leading (Level 2).

He said: “I’ve worked in the service industry for years and having a qualification to show that I have the correct skills and knowledge is important to me.

“The apprenticeship has also given me more of an insight when dealing with individuals in the team and training them in a way that is best for them to learn.”

When he decides to go solo with his own business, Aaran will leave plenty of wisdom behind at SixEight Kafé.

He said: “I’ve been able to create operating procedures for the Kafé as well as the training manuals for all new staff. This is something which will be useful while I’m here and once I’ve moved on!”

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