Three St Austell Brewery apprentices have scooped awards for their commitment to brewing and the hospitality industry in the South West. 

Around 80 people from across the business attended a special lunch ceremony to celebrate the achievements of its apprentices in the brewery’s visitor centre in St Austell at the end of January.  

Apprentice Jak Yelland-Hill, who works as a procurement manager, was nominated by her line manager, Paul Hine, for was given a recognition award for her work on her commercial procurement and supply level 4 course. 

“Jak has put in a lot of her own time to succeed, and has done so with an excellent +80 per cent average pass rate,” said Paul.  “Having done the same diploma many years ago, I can vouch for the difficulty of some of the areas, so hats off to her.” 

Jak has committed to stepping up to degree level once her Higher National Certificate is complete – a fantastic example of how apprenticeship programs can accelerate learning and progress people within their existing career. 

Also recognised for outstanding performance was brewing apprentice Matthew Hawkey, who is two-thirds of the way through his Level 4 course and was nominated by the brewery’s three most experienced brewers. 

“Matt has managed to learn all relevant roles across the production cycle with great speed and proactivity,” they said.  

“He also brings a positive impact to the team around him – not just in terms of workload or setting positive examples of high standards, but also socially, bonding well with everyone and improving team spirit. He thoroughly deserves this award as recognition for his continued hard work.” 

Joe Baker, graduated from a brewing apprenticeship last year, was named Apprentice Brewer of the Year award by HIT Training, leaders of the prestigious Level 4 Apprentice Brewer program.  

Joe had a phenomenal year, passing his course with high marks and producing his own beer Average Joe, which was picked up by a national pub chain and sold through 480 pubs across the country. 

St Austell Brewery currently employees 94 apprentices - around five per cent of its total full-time headcount of employees - on a total of 26 different courses, in various different functions of the business.