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Angela and Jenny - HAW 2019


Hospitality Apprenticeship Week 2019 - a manager with a mantra

Our series of stories to celebrate Hospitality Apprenticeship Week (5 to 9 August) continues with Angela Peacock, Deputy Operations Manager for Sodexo at York St John University. 

One third of Angela Peacock’s 24-strong catering team at Sodexo’s York St John University contract is currently undertaking apprenticeships - and she is one of them.

Angela is a manager with a mantra: “It’s never too late to improve.”

“I'm currently doing a Level 4 Retail Apprenticeship, which is degree level course,” she says. “I’ve made good progress in my hospitality career to date, but in order to take it to the next level I realised I needed to develop my retail skills.”

Angela’s hospitality career began when she was just 14, working as a ‘tea and toast’ waitress in a hotel. She took her NVQ Level 1 and 2 in Hospitality and Drinks Service and worked her way up to a restaurant manager before joining Sodexo at Wycombe Abbey Girls School as a supervisor in 2015 following a two year career break. She worked her way to Hospitality Manager and then Deputy Manager in charge of all front-of-house and catering. 

Angela is now Deputy Operations Manager at York St John University and oversees a team of 24 full-time catering and 12 casual staff. She has eight team members currently completing their apprenticeships; they range from chefs working towards Level 2, through to a site financial administrator who is studying Accountancy/Taxation Professional Level 7.

Sodexo manages five retail outlets on campus, including the main dining room which can cater for up to 4,000 meals each day during the academic year. 

"I love that this job allows me to mix my hospitality experience with learning through my retail apprenticeship,” says Angela. As a manager undertaking an apprenticeship herself, she is keen to encourage others:

I have always been keen for my team members to see the bigger picture of their roles; to assess their own skills; how they can impact the business, and how they can improve themselves

Jenny Hajji - HAW 2019“Some people have been with Sodexo for many years, and it’s easy to feel we can’t do our jobs any better or differently, but I have shown it's never too late to improve! You have to grab opportunities like this. We are very fortunate to work for a company which drives development and encourages people with their goals and ambitions.”

One of Angela’s team who has been encouraged to take up the opportunities provided by a Sodexo’s apprenticeship programme is Hospitality Supervisor Jenny Hajji. “I’ve always been in hospitality. I joined the University team 15 years ago working my way up to become a supervisor, but I wanted to get a formal qualification to help me do my job better. The apprenticeship has offered me the chance to do that.”

Having completed her Hospitality Apprenticeship, Level 2 Food & Beverage, Jenny says she has learned a lot:

It has really opened my eyes to the bigger picture of how the hospitality industry constantly changes, and to new trends and I’ve already been able to put some of the things I learned into practice.

Jenny says the approach to training stepped up a gear in 2015 when Sodexo took over the York St John University contract.

“With Sodexo we have all been encouraged to improve ourselves and develop our careers. There is a real commitment to investing in our people. I feel I’ve taken a real leap forward and I definitely want to carry on to my Level 3 Apprenticeship.”

Both Angela and Jenny are model examples who illustrate how apprenticeships can support a long term career within the hospitality industry.

If you are looking to create your own career in hospitality, start your journey with a Sodexo apprenticeship. Register your interest by filling in this form - click here.


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Header: Angela Peacock, Deputy Operations Manager, and Jenny Hajji, Hospitality Supervisor, at a team meeting on site at York St John University

Body: Jenny Hajji, Hospitality Supervisor, with her apprenticeship certificate

August 08, 2019

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