Stonegate Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, Announcing its Apprentice of the Year

Pub company Stonegate Group is celebrating its newly crowned ‘Apprentice of the Year’ during National Apprenticeship Week 2023.

2023’s winner, Sandra Cookson, is a shining example of the committed and personable apprentices that participate in Stonegate’s schemes, proving that hard-work and inspiration pay-off. On winning the accolade she said: “I am over the moon to have been crowned Apprentice of the Year, this is such a great surprise. I have learned so much through my apprenticeship and have had the opportunity to work with so many inspirational people. I cannot wait to see where my career with Stonegate takes me.”

Sandra was put forward for the award by Keystones in York and received a £100 gift voucher and a luxury hamper as prizes. She was also crowned with a bona-fide chef’s hat! Sometimes known as ‘the Queen of Keystones,’ Sandra has been with the business for over ten years and is a popular ambassador for the venue. You can hear more from this year’s winner on the company’s popular ‘Kitchen Sink’ podcast, available on iTunes and Spotify.

Jermaine Anderson from Calder, Brighouse and Edison Cacunago from Rocket, Canary Wharf were named runners-up and received bespoke chef’s jackets as prizes and tokens of appreciation from Stonegate.

Tim Painter, HR Director of Stonegate Group, said:
“Many congratulations to Sandra, the winner of this year’s award. It is a huge achievement. It has been wonderful to read all the judges’ feedback about 2023’s cohort of apprentices – their work ethic, commitment, team-spirt and leadership have all been excellent.”

Stonegate has been celebrating National Apprenticeship Week in a variety of ways, including taking part in the Hospitality Apprenticeship Showcase on Wednesday 8th February in the House of Commons. The event, sponsored by Alun Cairns MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer-Group, saw leading companies from the pub, bar and leisure sectors exchange thoughts on the value of hospitality apprenticeships to kick-start rewarding careers and fuel talent within the industry.

Tim concluded: “Apprentices are an important part of the award-winning career pathway that helps us retain and promote talent. I am delighted that Stonegate has the highest achievement rate for apprentices in the pub sector and that over half of the colleagues who complete an apprenticeship then go on to study for a higher level.”