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Greene King launches Stepping Up Report

Today Greene King launches The Stepping Up Report, challenging the barriers of social mobility and providing a commitment to create the best opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds in the hospitality sector. The report sets out five ambitions to encourage greater social mobility alongside a call for action for the Government and wider industry to do its part.

Launched at a reception in Parliament today and supported by Education Secretary Damian Hinds, The Stepping Up Report comes as the prominence of social mobility as an issue continues to rise in the UK. The 2018 Social Mobility Barometer, a survey of 5,000 people carried out by The Social Mobility Commission, showed that 40% of respondents think it is getting harder for people from less advantaged backgrounds to move up in British society , almost twice as many as those who think it is becoming easier. Nearly half of respondents believed that where you end up in society is heavily influenced by who your parents are.

In the report, Greene King sets out five ambitions to encourage greater social mobility:
1. Releasing Potential, a new employment programme for ex-offenders. Working with the Ministry of Justice, the charity Only A Pavement Away and partners Novus, Clean Sheet and Sodexo, we will support 50 individuals in the first year – initially working with prisons in the North West and London.

2. A new commitment to support 20,000 apprentices by 2022.

3. The first hospitality company to become a signatory to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter. This will see the appointment of an Executive Sponsor for Race, working towards the capturing of ethnicity data and acting to support the career progression of ethnic minorities.

4. Pledge to increase internal appointments to pub general manager from 64% to 80%.

5. Extending the company’s partnership with The Prince’s Trust for a fourth year with a target to increase the number of people being offered a permanent role after successful completion of the ‘Get Into Hospitality’ programme from 61% to 75%.

Launching the report, CEO Rooney Anand said, “Having served the nation for over two hundred years, we’ve witnessed the hospitality industry’s ability to propel social mobility time and time again. Starting and growing careers from the pub floor to senior leadership, our industry backs individuals from all walks of life, offering folks the chance to turn a short-term shift into a life-long career and improve their and their family’s standard of living.

“Of course, promoting and engendering social mobility isn’t easy and there’s no magic formula - it needs commitment and effort and we all need to play our part, but I hope that through sharing our efforts, we can encourage others in hospitality to help the cause, step up to the challenge and help make a real difference.”

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, who provided a foreword for the report and will give a keynote address at the reception, said, “Everyone should have the chance to fulfil that spark of potential that exists in all of us. That is why creating opportunities and real change in the lives of young people is a shared responsibility.

'Alongside the Government’s work to transform technical education and promote apprenticeships through our new ‘Fire it up’ campaign, businesses like Greene King are playing a critical role in promoting social mobility. This scheme is supporting in-house training, offering apprenticeships and helping ex-offenders get back into work, making sure people have skills and qualifications needed for success.”

Robert Halfon MP and Chair of the Education Select Committee, said, “I congratulate Greene King on rising to the challenge of boosting the number of apprenticeships in the hospitality sector. Their apprenticeships offer quality training in a supportive environment, allowing individuals of all ages to engage in lifelong learning.

'Such a commitment to vocational education is vital for the future health of the economy and ensuring everyone, wherever they are from, has the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity.”

Dame Martina Milburn DVCO CBE, Group Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust and Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, said, “I encourage all employers in the hospitality industry to challenge themselves about how they can help give a step up to more young people through schemes like ‘Get into Hospitality’.

'Greene King’s ‘Get into Hospitality’ programme, run with the Prince’s Trust, is a brilliant initiative, helping each young person gain industry qualifications, the potential of a job offer and if they wish, the opportunity to enrol in the Greene King apprenticeship programme.”