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East Peckham-based Dispense Solutions hires new apprentices to deal with shortage of skills in beer pump industry

07 January 2014
by Chris Price

A beer pump company has dealt with a shortage of skills in its sector by taking on two apprentices.

Dispense Solutions hired its newest recruits because none of the major brewers are taking on and training new staff.

The beer dispense installation and maintenance company works across the South East installing brands like Stella Artois, Carling, Fosters, John Smiths and Spitfire.

A beer tap

With a shortage of skilled technicians in the industry, the East Peckham-based firm approached training company Avanta to find the right candidate.

Managing director Tim Baldock was so impressed by the standard he took on two apprentices.

Danny Bourke, 18, and Ben Ailles, 17, will be employed at Dispense Solutions and its sister company Polar Fridge t/a Aire Serv, which deals in refrigeration and air conditioning.

They will be trained to be multi-skilled in beer dispense, refrigeration and air conditioning.

New apprentices Danny Bourke, left, and Ben Ailles, right, with Dispense Solutions managing director Tim Baldock

New apprentices Danny Bourke, left, and Ben Ailles, right, with Dispense Solutions managing director Tim Baldock

At the end of their training, they will earn an NVQ in Customer Service.

Mr Baldock said: “This is a great opportunity to build a career and everyone in the company is looking forward to working with them and helping to develop their skills.

“It is great to be able to offer two local lads this opportunity at a time when work can be hard to find for this age group.”

Mr Ailles, from Tonbridge, attended Hayesbrook School and is carrying on a family tradition in the brewing business, as his relatives used to run a pub in London.

Join the Kick Start Kent campaign by emailing

To join the KM Group's Kick Start Kent campaign, email

Mr Bourke, from Maidstone, went to Oakwood Park Grammar and has worked part-time at TK Maxx and as a barman at JD Wetherspoons.

He said “I enjoyed my experience working in the pub at Wetherspoons and was very interested to learn new skills and get into a trade that would give me a long term career.

“This apprenticeship opportunity fits the bill perfectly and I can’t wait to start.”

Training provider Avanta has offices across Kent in Canterbury, Maidstone, Chatham, Ramsgate, Dover, Folkestone, Sittingbourne, Gravesend, Tonbrige and the Isle of Sheppey.

Taking on an apprentice is not as difficult as many bosses think.

The KM Group is highlighting the benefits of hiring one with its Kick Start Kent campaign, aiming to get 50 companies to take on a young person.

For details, email

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