Anthony Panayi

June 10, 2014

Tony (2)

Anthony lives in Tooting, London and was one of the first Barista apprentices to start on the Starbucks Programme, launched in February 2012. After completing his A-levels, Anthony could have gone down a traditional University route. Instead, he decided that the apprenticeship route was the way to kick start his career and continue his education.

From the very first day Anthony was excited to be part of the Starbucks apprenticeship programme; “I knew that I was going to learn a lot about coffee, acquire great barista and customer service skills, but I didn’t expect that I would learn so much more.”

Anthony has found the product knowledge he has gained is extensive and much more in-depth than he first imagined; “I seriously underestimated the amount of knowledge you could gain about coffee and what an interesting product it is. It’s funny to find out how the history of coffee is linked to the history of mankind, and how far back it goes.”

Not only has Anthony been learning about the Starbucks products, but he has also learnt about the craftsmanship of his new role “I have gained great barista skills and discovered the art and passion that goes into making the perfect drink.” The skills that Anthony is learning will stay with him throughout his life and will transfer with him to other job roles he may embark on in the future. It’s these practical skills, gained through apprenticeships, which make the difference to a young person’s abilities, confidence and aspirations.

Starbucks has been the perfect place for Anthony to start his apprenticeship journey; “I was very pleased to realise that Starbucks’ values were, in many ways, aligned with mine. Partners (employees) have a strong sense of integrity, respect and pride in what they do, which is really inspiring.” These values are something Starbucks hopes to inspire all their apprentices to achieve.

As well as the practical skills that Anthony has learnt to complete his job he has also learnt skills which have helped him to develop on a personal level too. Through his interactions with colleagues and customers he has learnt a great deal about working with a diverse range of people from all walks of life; “It is such a great environment to work in as you learn to adapt to so many different situations.”

Combining work experience with theoretical learning is the winning formula of an apprenticeship and this is something the apprentices themselves enjoy, Anthony being no exception; “I take a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that I’m not only gaining work experience, but also gaining qualifications.”

Anthony is keen to now build a career with Starbucks and his colleagues have found it a pleasure working with him. “It is an experience that I feel is shaping my future and helping me to build a strong foundation for my career.” Anthony is certainly in the right place to do this as the Starbucks programme is all about encouraging apprentices to aspire for achievement and a long career with Starbucks.

I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship and I am learning so much from this experience. I have received amazing support from my manager and my fellow partners and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to progress and learn whilst working.” Said Anthony.