Two brothers from Eastbourne who completed their drinks dispense technician apprenticeships through City of Wolverhampton have made history by being the first candidates in the UK to do so!
Aaron and Brad Santos, who work for LWC Drinks Ltd – the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler – at its Eastbourne depot, combined working for the company with attending block release placements at the college’s specialist drinks dispensing training academy during their 18-month training programme.
The academy, at the Paget Road campus in Compton, is equipped with a range of industry-standard equipment – including a working cellar, beer pulls and pumps, drinks coolers, and soft drinks equipment – and used by employers in the beverage industry to train staff to install and maintain dispensing equipment in pubs, clubs, cafes, theatres and sports stadiums.
Aaron, aged 23, and Brad, 21, who are employed as technical beer and soft drinks engineers, gained skills in plumbing, electrics, refrigeration, gas pressure systems and pipework, as well as fault finding, problem solving, customer service, training, product quality, time and workload management, health and safety, and industry codes of practice.
During the programme they attended five two-week training blocks at the college and, when returning to their field jobs, used their newly-gained skills to install drinks dispense equipment and provide a breakdown cover service in a wide range of venues in the south-east.
Richard Hewitt, head of apprenticeships at the college, said:
“We are the only organisation in the UK to offer the drinks dispensing apprenticeship and are currently training apprentices from a number of brewing groups, soft drinks companies and drinks dispense suppliers including Budweiser Brewing Group UK & I, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Limited GB, and Innserve.
“Aaron and Brad have made history by being the first to complete their training and we are delighted to have played a major part in their skills development so early on in their careers.”
Dave Cole, head of human resources at LWC Drinks Ltd said:
” Apprenticeships are integral to helping our business grow our future workforce and plug gaps in skills shortages.
“Being able to offer a dedicated drinks dispense apprenticeship is a real advantage for the company and having staff equipped with the latest industry skills and knowledge further enables us to provide a consistently high standard of service to our customers”.
“We are extremely proud of Aaron and Brad’s achievements and very grateful to the college’s apprenticeship team for the support they gave to them, and the company, during their training.”
The drinks dispense apprenticeship was developed by the college in partnership with brewers and drinks manufacturers and currently has 53 apprentices from international drinks companies attending the training academy on a block release basis every six weeks, with a further 32 staff due to start the programme in 2024.
Get details of the drinks dispense technician apprenticeship here