Ei Group, the UK’s largest pub company, has launched an innovative new programme that could see pupils from six schools across England and Wales secure jobs in one of the few industries deemed future proof – the pub trade.
In collaboration with ‘education enrichment’ organisation Stride, Ei Group is running its Pub Pros campaign with the help of six publicans across its Ei Publican Partnerships estate.
Pub Pros is a work readiness programme for sixth formers, aiming to inform and inspire them about careers in pubs whilst building employability skills such as teamwork, leadership, assertiveness and critical thinking. The programme sees up to 12 pupils from each school take part in a series of half-day workshops; followed by a meet-the-publican session; and conclude with an in-pub taster day this summer.
It comes as the Department for Work and Pensions is promoting Hospitality Works, a month-long campaign promoting careers across the whole hospitality sector, and which has created more than 8,000 work placements since its launch in 2015.
Alongside raising the profile of pub industry careers, Pub Pros gives publicans the chance to connect with local schools, engage with prospective future employees, and give something back to the local community.
One publican who has signed-up to Pub Pros is Victoria MacDonald, at The Cellar House, Eaton Street, Norwich, who is working with 17 and 18-year-old pupils from City of Norwich School.
Victoria said: “I love running The Cellar House, and if I can pass on some of my experience and knowledge, enthuse young people, and encourage them to at least think about a career in pubs, then Pub Pros will have been a success.”
The publicans taking part are Chris and Liz Shore, at The Wortwell Bell, Wortwell, Norfolk (Archbishop Sancroft High School); Mark Griffiths, who runs The Haywain, Coychurch Road, Brackla, Bridgend, Glamorgan (Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School); Natalie Coleshill, at The Milford Arms, London Road, Isleworth (Kingsley Academy); Adrian Emmett, who runs The Lion, in Bute Street, Treorchy (Treorchy Comprehensive School); and Steve Banks, at The Woodman, Breakspear Road, Ruislip (Uxbridge College).
Ei Group Commercial Director Paul Harbottle said: “The pub sector is often overlooked as a potential employment opportunity for young people, so together with Stride we’re trying to change that through our Pub Pros initiative.
“Pubs require passionate and entrepreneurial publicans, managers, bar staff and chefs if they’re to be successful, sustainable businesses, and continue to be an integral part of British life, and important community hubs.
“By partnering some great Ei Publican Partnerships pubs with local schools, we’re giving pupils the opportunity to really explore the sector, meet people who run pubs, and get a taste of them as exciting, fast-paced businesses. All of that, we hope, will inspire them to add our sector to their career choices.”
Stride co-founder Elena Macia added: “We’ve had an excellent response to our series of Pub Pros workshop over six sessions. Students are building their knowledge of the pub industry and what being a publican involves, while developing valuable employability skills such as teamwork, assertiveness, leadership and more.
“We’re finding that students who have signed-up to the programme come with different motivations: some already have casual work in the industry and want to learn more, some have an interest in business and potentially running their own business, and some are simply exploring all the options open to them once they leave education. The participating publicans have all been so supportive, keen to engage in the programme, and are looking forward to meeting the first cohort of Pub Pros students in the summer.”