Ellon-based craft beer maker BrewDog has launched its own apprenticeship programme as part of ambitious expansion plans.
The company has taken on 20 modern apprentices across its growing business and recruited a “happiness manager” to handle training and development for the 370 staff.
We’re a young company and a young workforce with many people in their teens and early-20sJude Ross BrewDog Happiness Manager
It follows the firm making use of the Skills for Growth initiative offered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Investors in People, which provides free consultancy and support to identify growth priorities.
Jude Ross, BrewDog’s recently-appointed happiness manager, said: “We’re a young company and a young workforce with many people in their teens and early-20s so it made sense to get people on board with gaining qualifications.
“We have five business apprentices covering the supply chain, business administration, finance, customer service and IT, and we’ve got 15 apprentices doing food processing and packaging.
“We’ve recruited locally, forging links with Ellon Academy and North East Scotland College, and helping people to grow with the business is an important part of our strategic plan.
“We’ve just started digging our third site which will triple the size of the business, so we need young people who will be ready to step up.”
The brewer’s recent annual report showed sales rose by nearly two-thirds in 2014 to £29.6million.
As well as expanding its Ellon headquarters with the creation of 130 jobs, the firm is also planning its first brewery in the US at a site in Columbus, Ohio.
Among the apprentices hoping the expansion plans will lead to an exciting career with the firm is 21-year-old direct sales co-ordinator Liam McRobb.
He said: “I’m the main line between our sales representatives who sell our beer to local bars and the customers themselves, and it’s been going really fast since I started.
“This was the right job for me at the right time. BrewDog is expanding and there are a lot of progression opportunities, so I knew that it could offer me a lot for my career.”