Adam Hulme, manager of Barracuda’s Bridgewater pub in Darwen, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser that the pub trade has a lot to gain from the Youth Contract scheme, which will provide nearly half a million opportunities for 18 to 24-years-olds, including apprenticeships and voluntary work experience placements.
Hulme said the scheme allows licensees to get a good impression of potential employees, even if there is no job available at the end of the process, and also serves as a useful training tool for existing staff. He has taken on three full-time staff who had previously been on work placement at the pub through the scheme, which is run in conjunction with the local Jobcentre.
The staff are not paid during the eight-week placement, but still receive their job-seeker’s allowance payments. “The level of staff turnover in our trade is phenomenal,” said Hulme.
“We can spend time training staff only for them to leave after a few months. Something like this allows us to see if someone is ideal to work in the trade. It is like an eight-week interview.
“Three of my staff are full-timers who went through this placement, and the ones who I haven’t taken on have left with confidence, and experience of the industry.
“I didn’t want them to come here as a general dogsbody to get my labour costs down, because that would only have had a negative impact on the rest of my staff.”
Employee Stephen Brine, who secured a full-time job at the pub following his 26-hour-a-week placement, said: “I have heard a lot of rumours saying we are being used, or being forced to do it, but Adam told me that if I ever felt like I was being used in any way, I could leave. The staff have been fantastic, they are like family.”