Clitheroe’s Donna (17) is an apprentice pub landlord

HOSPITALITY HOPEFUL: Donna Holt in her new role behind the bar. (s)
HOSPITALITY HOPEFUL: Donna Holt in her new role behind the bar. (s)

Teenager Donna Holt swopped her hopes of a career in hairdressing and beauty for a temporary job pulling pints – but now she dreams of owning her own pub.

Donna (17), from Clitheroe, left St Augustine’s RC High School, Billington, and started on a hair and beauty course, but decided full-time education was not for her.

She left after six months and began working part-time behind the bar at the Rose and Crown in Clitheroe to earn some extra money.

At the time, Thwaites brewery was promoting apprenticeships throughout its public houses , working in conjunction with Blackburn College. Keen to be part of the training initiative, Rose and Crown landlord Nigel Riley and partner Michelle Harbord offered to employ Donna as an apprentice.

After signing up for the British Institute of Innkeeping Level 2 in Licensed Hospitality course at Blackburn College, Donna has not looked back.

She said: “I was surprised how much I liked working behind the bar and to be offered an apprenticeship is great. My range of duties is really varied – it’s not all about serving beer!

“I’m involved in working in the cellar, maintaining the kegs and casks, cleaning and serving lunches. The support and training I’m receiving from Nigel and Michelle is invaluable and the theory part at college is also enjoyable.”

Nigel said: “Donna has really gained confidence dealing with customers and developing the necessary skills she’ll need. The whole process has been so straightforward – every business should have an apprentice.”