Tommy Harper and Emily Sale are both 21 and loving their jobs at Newcastle-under- Lyme based online beer retailing company, Best of British Beer. 

Emily Sale 

Emily Sale knew she wanted to go down the apprenticeship route but wasn’t sure what career path she wanted to take. After school she enrolled on a BTEC in Business Administration at Newcastle-under-Lyme College and then. 

Emily said: “I started to look for jobs and the first one I saw was an administrative role at Best of British Beer. I didn’t know much about the company other than it sold beer was only a ten-minute walk from where I lived! 

“I had an interview and got the job, which was initially covering a member of staff away on maternity leave. 

“At first, I was very shy and didn’t even like answering the phones. However, through my apprenticeship I learnt new qualities, more independence and I started to gain confidence within myself and my work, which some people don’t learn until early adulthood. 

“I have now started a second apprenticeship in content creation as I have taken on responsibility for the social media. The company is looking to broaden the range of its customer base and appeal to younger people as well as the stereotypical older males who make up most of our current customers.  

“The company operates as an employee-owned trust which means I have shares and a vested interest in making it a success. 

“I love my job and feel very fortunate to work for Best of British Beer. They really value their employees and have been fully supportive of my development through the apprenticeships.” 

Tommy Harper 

Whilst at school Tommy Harper aspired for a career in engineering. He secured an apprenticeship with a small engineering firm but after four months he realised it wasn’t for him. Next, he tried joinery but again it just wasn’t what he was looking for. 

Through jobs website Indeed, Tommy saw a job advert for a warehouse picker and packer at Best of British Beer. He had an interview and secured an apprenticeship in warehousing and logistics, initially for 12 months. 

Tommy said: “It took me while to find a career I really liked but I don’t regret the experience as it has helped me to appreciate what I have now. I am now a full-time warehouse operative and fully qualified forklift driver. 

“I started in 2019 and a few months later the country went into lockdown. At this time, our sales went through the roof because people couldn’t go to the pub. It was a busy time and a great way to learn all aspects of the job. Things did gradually slow down a bit but by then we had built a larger and loyal customer base.  

“I really enjoy coming to work and there is always a new challenge. I’ve recently trained in first aid and I want to continue to develop as the company grows and being a shareholder as part of the employee owned trust makes me feel really valued.