Stonegate chefs

Stonegate chefs John Reynolds, Bruno Byrne and Chris Dickson at the Hanover Tap, Edinburgh


Stonegate Pub Company has enhanced its Albert Theory of Progression (ATOP) scheme with the launch of a new apprenticeship programme for back-of-house staff across the country.

The hugely successful and award-winning ATOP programme, designed to nurture and develop home-grown talent, has seen hundreds of employees progress their careers through structured training.

The new 12-month apprenticeship meets the demands of those who aspire to lead and run demanding kitchens. Some 170 places will be made available each year, equipping learners with a level 3 senior production chef apprenticeship.

The bespoke programme, developed by Stonegate’s apprenticeship manager, Jemelle Bish, and Rhona Symon, Stonegate’s back-of-house training manager, who progressed through the company’s career pathway, touches on the areas of leadership, customer, business and people.

Candidates will develop their supervisory leadership skills to enable them to lead their own teams within the workplace, as well as learning about the business marketplace and developing sales opportunities.

Creating a better understanding of customer needs through profiling alongside personal development around the company brand vision and values will improve learners’ skills to take on the role of mentor, as well as progressing their own careers.

The Albert Theory of Progression is named after Albert Einstein and uses the genius as its inspiration. Albert has been transformed into a character who takes the trainee through their learning by narrating content and helping them manage their career progression online

Stonegate chief executive, Simon Longbottom, said: “The continual development of our Albert’s Theory of Progression enables us to offer a variety of learning choice across the broad range of careers that we offer.

“Our new apprenticeship programme enables our kitchen teams to further their careers through bespoke programmes, tailored to the business needs, as eating out continues to grow.”

Jemelle added: “Assessment centres will be held across the country to ensure we attract those candidates that have the ambition and drive to develop their career through this mix of practical and academic learning.

“We also aim to offer budding chefs and kitchen managers the opportunity to join our new Albert’s Evolution career development pathway, enabling future opportunities to be identified and aimed for.”

Training will be delivered in conjunction with learning partner Remit, whose chief executive, Sue Pittock, said: “The apprenticeship programme is an exciting step in our partnership with Stonegate. Their commitment to investing in their people is paying dividends, with reduced turnover and clear career progression steps.”