Career prospects brewing at Poco Coffee as part of apprentice scheme

Posted on 30 September 2016
By Khyle Deen
  • Share:

One of the North West’s most popular community coffee shops is helping youngsters boost their career prospects as part of its apprentice scheme.

The Kirkby based Poco Coffee outlet, which is soon to transition into a social enterprise, currently has a 12 month apprenticeship initiative in place, whereby young recruits obtain skills and knowledge of the hospitality industry prior to progressing into a barista role.

Having completed the apprenticeship, local twin sisters Holly and Emma Westerside, 20, are now set to undertake a Retail Management Diploma, as part of an on-going progression plan and will also be responsible for supervising newcomer Jack Mooney, 18.

Director of Poco Coffee Richard Sutton said: “The aim of the apprenticeship provided by Riverside College’s Employer Services team member Traci Van Marle, is to not only provide a stepping stone for youngsters to begin their career within the hospitality industry, the scheme is to source and nurture talent to develop them long term.

“Our apprentice advocates Holly and Emma are prime examples of how the scheme can help grow and develop such talent on both a work capacity and personal level. The girls have really come out of the shell following the initial apprenticeship scheme and have excelled in their barista roles. To enable further development needed to progress to supervisory roles, it is a real honour to see them now undergo a Retail Management Diploma and actively manage our newest recruit Jack.”

Founded by husband and wife duo Richard and Angela Sutton in 2012, Poco Coffee operates three sites across Kirkby, Prescot and Earlestown, in addition to the new Llandudno based venue. Since the apprenticeship scheme was established in 2013, five new job roles have been secured. In addition to now supporting a Retail Management Diploma to enable further progression, the Kirkby outlet is also offering regular work experience for young people.

Richard added: “Leaving school or higher education can often be a daunting time for youngsters as many are unsure of the next steps. The apprenticeship here at Poco Coffee is much more than making hot drinks, it’s about learning the ropes when it comes to the day-to-day running of a business, problem solving and customer service. All of these transferable skills are things that can’t be taught and instead need to be experienced first-hand. With that in mind, our aim is to offer a platform for local young workers to believe, achieve and excel.”

For more information about Poco Coffee visit