Greene King has recruited its 1,000th apprentice this year, putting the company ahead of schedule in its pledge to recruit 2,000 apprentices in the year to March 2016.

The company, in partnership with national apprenticeship provider, Lifetime Training, has helped support over 5,500 apprentices since 2011.

Luke Myers, 18, Greene King’s 1,000th apprentice, works as a food production and cooking apprentice at the Yorkshire Grey pub in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

He said: “The apprenticeship route appealed to me because of the “learning on the job” aspect of the role. It has been hard work, but also a great opportunity to learn about what it takes to succeed in a professional kitchen and how to create a customer-friendly menu.”

Jane Connor, Greene King’s group HR director, said: “Reaching our 1,000th apprentice this year is an important milestone for Greene King and the hospitality industry. Apprentices reduce team turnover, increase employee engagement and grow talent organically across all levels and departments. Greene King wants to play its part in combating the industry shortage of chefs and since last summer, more than 75% of all recruited apprentices have been for ‘back of house’ roles, including Luke who is working in the kitchen at the Yorkshire Grey pub.

“As students across the country receive their A Level and GCSE results, it is important for them to be aware of the alternative education and career paths that exist outside of traditional education. At Greene King we want to support young people get that all-important first step on the career ladder. Apprenticeships provide learners with valuable skills which will help them to build a career. We offer opportunities to those of all ages and we hope that over the coming years we are able to further grow and develop the scheme.”