Tom Hughes: Harbourside Fish & Chip Shop

Tom Hughes: Harbourside Fish & Chip Shop

Harbourside Fish & Chip shop was established in 2009 by owners Sarah Lock and Philip Thompson and over the past two years they have recruited four apprentices. An accredited Investors in People business, Harbourside Fish & Chip shop is committed to helping people of all ages into work, as well as helping them to develop both professionally and personally.  This was a big reason why Sarah and Philip were keen to offer Apprenticeships at their shop.

Tom Hughes, Manager at Harbourside Fish & Chip shop, who is in charge of the training and management of apprentices comments, “It very fulfilling training a new apprentice in the specifics of the shop. My in house training programme is extremely detailed and thorough and leaves them understanding the business and job role completely with no ‘bad habits’ brought in or taught.” 

Employing eight members of staff, Harbourside Fish & Chip shop is a small business which uses a local provider based just outside of Plymouth to recruit their apprentices.  Tom explains, “The provider puts forward candidates that they consider to be suitable, we then interview them and bring them to the shop to discuss the job roles and assess suitability. 

“Applicants vary as each person obviously has a different personality, manner etc which may or may not fit with what we are looking for.  However, even if potential apprentices do not seem to have the qualifications we are happy to organise both in-house training and external courses to help them with the job.

“We provide both front of house and kitchen experience because a fully trained workforce is far more efficient for us. It also provides them with a varied and more rounded platform of experience to move forward with.”

Harbourside Fish & Chip shop runs Apprenticeships which last between 12-18 months and currently employs two apprentices undertaking Level 3 Apprenticeships.  It has also received grants in the past to help with the training and development of its apprentices.

Tom continues, “Since taking on our first apprentice we now have a full training initiative in place that our staff benefit from.  As a result, the shop won the Staff Training and Development Award at the National Fish and Chip Awards this year because of processes such as these.

“For those considering taking on an apprentice, understand that these young recruits are able to bring valued learning to your business which could improve your business operation.  I can appreciate that it can be a daunting prospect, that’s why Apprenticemakers is an extremely useful forum for those that have questions and want to speak to others that have already been though the process – after all, nobody knows better than people who have already experienced it!”

Photograph: L-R – Lisa Lishman, Tom Hughes, Andy Hillier and Chris Lock

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