« back to Blog

Tom’s apprenticeship is a Caribbean dream!


“Ticking all the boxes for a great hospitality manager,” is how Swatpro Academy’s trainer Jen Scott describes apprentice Tom Dale.

Tom works in the Exeter branch of the national chain Turtle Bay and is studying for level 4 apprenticeship as a Hospitality Manager with Academy. The management techniques, the human resource best practice, financial skills, health and safety compliance and marketing knowhow Tom is learning is more than just theoretical: since earlier this year Tom has been the senior manager on site at the popular restaurant bar.

Tom says when he started his apprenticeship with Swatpro Academy he knew it was the right choice:

“I have never had as much learning support as I’ve had with Jen and Swatpro Academy. She gives me great advice and teaches me ways of seeing things I didn’t think to see before! The course is well tailored to my learning style, with great resources and challenging work, but it’s great fun and I always look forward to Jen's visits and calls,” he explains.

Tom’s rapid promotion has come as no surprise to Jen.

“He’s definitely general manager material. It’s a pleasure to observe him at work. See how he is able to handle situations, using the skills this apprenticeship has given him,” she notes.

Tom’s apprenticeship began when he was working in a smaller Exeter café, but on moving to Turtle Bay he was keen to continue the course.

The Caribbean-themed chain had not worked with Swatpro Academy before, but were impressed with their bespoke approach – tailoring courses to suit both learners and employers’ requirements.

After taking some time out to learn the ropes at Turtle Bay, Tom’s apprenticeship continued – despite his having to take on the responsibility of running the site, when two colleagues left the business.

“He’s a really nice guy and I’m pleased to say he took the opportunity handed to him with both hands and is now on the route towards being made a general manager by his employer,” Jen explains.

Lockdown offered both apprentice and tutor time to really get to grips with lots of coursework without the distractions of a busy restaurant. Now things are back open again, Tom is expecting to complete his End Point Assessment in January. During lockdown he made the most of his time, with the support of Swatpro Academy:

“Through lockdown I was still able to do my work with ease thanks to online video calling and support. If you are thinking of taking a course I would definitely recommend it. Jen is the best, and puts in a tremendous amount of work and time to make sure you have what you need. Absolutely fantastic!" Tom enthuses.

“It shows what this apprenticeship can do. It’s more than just a bit of paper, it gives you the real world skills you need to have a successful career in hospitality,” Jen concludes.


Tom’s apprenticeship is a Caribbean dream!