Starbucks: how they develop to attract and retain…

Starbucks: how they develop to attract and retain…

We all know that Starbucks makes great coffee (as do other coffee providers), but did you know their training and development goes beyond how to make a good brew? Since 2012, Starbucks have been running their six level apprenticeship scheme in order to help their people grow, in areas such as, IT, digital skills, finance, accountancy, business, HR and the more obvious, being Baristas and Managers.


Starbucks currently have 250 apprenticeship places and their commitment to helping their people achieve their potential has led them to agreeing to create a further 1,000 apprenticeships by 2020. Their industry-recognised certification and degree level qualifications are helping their employees and apprentices forge a career whilst they are earning. This is helping Starbucks to retain staff and as a result, are bucking the trend in a high turn-over of staff, that is often experienced within the retail industry.


Their highly successful apprentice scheme has employees go through a 12-month programme, which attracts a varied age range, starting from 16 years old to 50 years old being the oldest so far. This makes the scheme a very inclusive programme which also guarantees employment after the 12 months, this provides candidates with not only an education but a job at the end of it.


Starbucks attributes the success of the programme to their employee-buy-in, they have managers opting to take on apprentices and are happy to take on the role of training of the content and delivery of the scheme. The apprentices are also supported by the district managers who have also opted in to support.


The progression within the business is clear for those who are accepted onto the programme, candidates start out to master new skills and gain qualifications in Barista Mastery and Customer Service, and then can opt to progress to a supervisory role and higher levels of apprenticeships. As a result, Starbucks have seen many of their employees from the programme move through the ranks and take up supervisory positions or as assistant managers and store manager.


So aside from gaining an education with qualifications that are degree level in some areas, those on the scheme benefit from:


  • Learning mainly in-store, with some classroom and webinar sessions
  • Being paid the same rate as there regular baristas
  • Top up there pay with a bonus for great performance
  • Free and discounted Starbucks products
  • 25 days paid holiday
  • Access to life coaching, 24 hours a day 365 days a year
  • Money off leisure and retail experiences
  • Referring a friend for an extra cash reward
  • Becoming a company owner and receive Starbucks shares


You get a real sense that their apprenticeship scheme is part of the DNA of the company. Which also extends to their franchises who also have a buy-in to the programme.


Starbucks do see some employees leave the business once they receive their Starbucks education, but they accept this because they have created a workforce with ambition, who are accountants, managers and IT wizards, they see their offering as a career with prospects, not just a job.


If you would like to discuss apprenticeships and how to set up a learning and development programme to help attract and retain your people, please contact a member of the HPC Team:


T: 0844 800 5932


Twitter: @HPC_HRservices

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