After a sports injury forced him to rethink his career options, James joined the Grassmoor Golf Centre near Chesterfield as Bar and Events Manager and embarked on an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Beverage Service – and within 14 months he’d won a prestigious hospitality industry award!
Since winning the keenly contested ‘UK Hospitality Apprentice of the Year’ title, his role has significantly grown and developed – he was appointed Bar Manager at Grassmoor’s sister course, Rufford Park in Nottinghamshire, and subsequently promoted to Hospitality Manager for the two clubs. He’s as keen as ever to complete his second apprenticeship which he firmly believes will equip him with the skills and qualifications he needs to enhance and develop his long-term career prospects, and is close to completing his Advanced Apprenticeship in Hospitality Supervision & Leadership.
“Golf had been my main passion from a very early age, and I originally started working as a bartender at Grassmoor to help support my golfing ambitions,“ explains James, 26. “Hospitality and bar work soon became my second passion but once a sports injury forced me to change course, I realised that my dreams of becoming a golf professional were over.
“It was then that I realised I could enjoy a natural progression from golf to hospitality – and that’s when I started my apprenticeship which is a great way to learn the industry inside out and of course, to earn while you learn,” he says.
James’ apprenticeship is managed by the UK’s leading hospitality specialist training provider HIT, which offers apprenticeships, work-based learning and on-going staff development and training for people working across all areas of the hospitality sector.
“I’ve been looking into new working procedures along with the required training so that we run more efficiently - I’m a passionate believer in the importance of high standards of customer service,” adds James. “There’s nothing more rewarding than delivering a service which exceeds our customers’ expectations.”