Gosport MP puts on an apron to take on role as shop apprentice

TIME FOR A CUPPA Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage serves a coffee to Reinis Niedritis at Costa Coffee in High Street, Gosport to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week.  Picture: Steve Reid (120431-661)
TIME FOR A CUPPA Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage serves a coffee to Reinis Niedritis at Costa Coffee in High Street, Gosport to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week. Picture: Steve Reid (120431-661)
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WHIPPING up cappuccinos is not usually part of an MP’s job description.

But Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage went behind the coffee shop counter yesterday to try out life as an apprentice.

Ms Dinenage spent the morning at the town’s Costa coffee shop to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week.

She greeted customers and picked up some coffee-making skills to highlight the range of apprenticeships there are for young people in Gosport.

Ms Dinenage said: ‘I never thought I could do an apprenticeship with coffee and cake and customer service.

‘There are a lot of apprenticeships to do with things like engineering but actually there is something for everybody.

‘Gosport has lots of apprenticeships on offer thanks to places like EDF Energy, Vector Aerospace and Network Rail.

‘And I thought this year it would be nice to highlight a different kind of apprenticeship.’

National Apprenticeship Week is held to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.

It comes as the number of apprenticeships being taken up has increased by 58 per cent in the last year.

Ms Dinenage added: ‘A degree doesn’t guarantee you a job at the end of it and you’re likely to come out with a lot of debt.

‘Also a lot of people aren’t suited to a more academic career and are more suited to something where they can get their hands dirty and do a job.’

Gosport’s Costa coffee shop manager Reinis Niedritis and assistant manager Ben Gosling both started off as apprentices.

Ben, 19, of Wych Lane in Gosport, said: ‘I love working here and doing the apprenticeship has been really good for me.

‘I started off as an apprentice then I got a promotion to assistant manager.

‘I have to do exams and things like that but it’s not all paperwork, it’s about skills to do with the job.

‘I don’t have to pay for it because Costa does, which is a big help.

‘I would encourage other people to do the same thing if they were thinking about it.

‘Having Caroline work with us was great.

‘She was doing a really good job and was friendly with everyone.’

Costa’s apprenticeship scheme is supported by Gosport-based training company Fareport Training.