Ei expands pioneering school leavers programme

Ei Group, the UK’s largest pub company, has expanded its pioneering programme that aims to inspire young people to enter the pub trade across England and Wales.

Pub Pros, now in its second year, is a work readiness programme run by education enrichment organisation, Stride Learning. It aims to inform and inspire school leavers about careers in pubs whilst building employability skills such as teamwork, leadership, assertiveness and critical thinking.

The number of schools and pubs taking part this year has doubled from six to 12, with the programme’s geographical reach also growing, with pubs from Hull to Exeter taking part. For the first time, Ei Group head office will also take part in Pub Pros, in partnership with Solihull College.

The programme sees up to 30 pupils from each school take part in a series of three half-day workshops including a meet-the-publican session followed by an in-pub taster day this summer.

Also new for this year is an alternative programme, Pub Pathways, which is a one-day workshop.

Victoria MacDonald, publican at The Cellar House, Norwich, who has signed up to the programme for a second year, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and I am thrilled to be taking part with the support of Ei Group. I love running The Cellar House, and if I can pass on some of my experience and encourage young people to recognise that a career as a publican is a viable choice, then Pub Pros will have been a success.”

Ei Group Commercial Director Paul Harbottle, said, “Working in a pub or the wider hospitality sector is often overlooked as a potential career choice for young people. However, following last year’s successful Pub Pros programme, I am confident this will continue to change perceptions, with even more students and publicans getting involved this year.

“By partnering even more of our Ei Publican Partnerships’ estate with local schools, we’re delighted to be giving a greater number of pupils the opportunity to meet first-class publicans and explore the sector, by experiencing our fast-paced and social businesses. We hope that this will inspire our next generation to add our sector to their career choices and future proof the industry.”

Stride’s Elena Macia, said, “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Ei Group again, the publicans have been very supportive and keen to engage in the programme. We have had an excellent response from schools and colleges eager to showcase careers in hospitality to their students. Pub Pros is recognised as a high quality programme and an invaluable opportunity to put pub careers firmly on the map.”

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, added, “People are the heart of the pub and raising the reputation of our sector, which offers such an exciting career, is vital. Ei Group pioneered work with Stride, which is a great example of partnership work at a local level and it is good to see this continue.

'The BBPA is working with Stride too which we see as the sort of initiatives we will need to develop further for the skills element of the Tourism Sector Deal which has been announced in principle by the Government.”


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