Award winning Suffolk Cafe helps Apprentices thrive

An Ipswich town-centre café is the latest business to hold the New Anglia Youth Pledge Marque.

Applaud Coffee, on St Peter’s Street, recently hired their first apprentice, Nelly Keen. This follows on the success of winning the Best Café category in the 2016 EADT Suffolk Food & Drink Awards.

Owners Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook are providing on the job training in all aspects of the coffee shop to Nelly while she works towards a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Food and Beverage Service with Suffolk New College School of Commercial Services.

Beth says: “We started a programme of training with Nelly immediately and in just two months we are seeing the benefit of her higher skills.  We enjoy passing on our experience to Nelly and have found it inspiring, particularly as she is so keen to learn. We are doing what we consider best in managing our business and are also pleased to receive the Youth Pledge Marque.”

Hannah added: “As our apprentice is 17 years old and we are a small business, her training at Suffolk New College is funded by the government.  We found the Suffolk New College staff so helpful and arrangements were quickly put into place for Nelly to commence the apprenticeship.”

The New Anglia Youth Pledge is the LEP’s commitment that every young person in Norfolk and Suffolk will get the support they need to get into education, training, an apprenticeship or a job within three months of leaving education or employment.

Natasha Waller, Skills Manager at New Anglia LEP, says “It’s great to see a small business like Applaud Coffee taking on and training an apprentice. For SMEs, apprenticeships can be a great way to develop their workforce and there’s plenty of support available to assist them.”

The Youth Pledge Marque is awarded to businesses which show their commitment to the Pledge through taking on apprentices and work experience placements and also through joining The New Anglia Enterprise Advisor Network, which connects inspirational business leaders with local schools and colleges, helping to motivate and inspire young people and make a major impact on their work prospects.

Does your business qualify for the Marque? To learn more about the Youth Pledge Marque and how to apply, visit

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