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6th February 2024

Brewery apprentices awarded for dedication to hospitality and brewing in the South West

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 at the brewery’s visitor centre to celebrate the achievements of its apprentices at the end of January.

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

Paul said: “Jak has put in a lot of her own time to succeed and has done so with an excellent +80% average pass rate. 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 is already planning ahead and has committed herself 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.

 His team said: “Matt has managed to learn all relevant roles across the production cycle with great speed and proactivity. Matt also brings a positive impact to the team around him – not just in terms of workload or setting positive examples of high standards – but socially, bonding well with everyone and improving team spirit. He is progressing very well indeed and thoroughly deserves this award as recognition for his continued hard work.”

Harry Dupi, team leader at the Royal Castle received the final award and was nominated by his general manager, Matthew McKinley-Booton.

Matthew said: “I am delighted to have Harry as a part of my team, he is an absolute legend with an amazing level of knowledge, and an amazing work ethic. Harry is a definite general manager in the making who really deserves this award for his consistent reliability and amazing work ethic.”

Joe Baker, who graduated from a brewing apprenticeship last year, has also been recognised by HIT Training, who have awarded Joe their ‘Apprentice Brewer of the Year award’ for 2023. HIT specialise in hospitality related training programs, have national reach and who have worked closely with St Austell, other leading brewers and the ICBS at Nottingham University over the past decade, to build their prestigious Level 4 Apprentice Brewer program. Joe has had a phenomenal year, after passing his course with high marks and producing his own beer ‘Average Joe’, that was picked up by a large national pub chain and sold through 480 of their pubs across the country.

2023 has been a really successful year for St Austell Brewery, which includes a marked step up in activities as an apprentice employer.

The business currently employees 94 apprentices on a total of 26 different courses, in various different functions of the business, which equates to around 5% of its total full-time headcount of employees.  It’s also double the number of total apprentices St Austell has had on courses at any one time prior to 2023.

Through harnessing the power of apprenticeships, St Austell is making great progress towards its goal of become an employer of choice in the South West, with ambitions to become the go-to place to work for anyone who wants to grow and develop their career.


Contact: Charlotte Turner,

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