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Festival aims to raise awareness of career opportunities in the pub trade.When it comes to promoting careers in hospitality, pubs have often lagged...

Festival aims to raise awareness of career opportunities in the pub trade.

When it comes to promoting careers in hospitality, pubs have often lagged behind other industry sectors.

Only in the last couple of years has higher education provided courses dedicated to licensed retailing and pubs have had a relatively low profile at the Springboard UK Careers Festival in the two years the event has been run.

That, however, is set to change with the appointment of Tammy Mariaux (pictured)​ to the new post of Springboard's sales and marketing director.

If the name rings a bell, it should. Tammy is a former independent pub operator, creator of the award-winning Spaggo's retail brand. After working for Punch, then running her own consultancy for a couple of years, she is now in a strong position to put pubs to the forefront.

"As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter whether it is hotels, restaurants or pubs," she said. "They all suffer from people not seeing it as an industry you would choose a career in."

Tammy regards her main job as putting that right by raising awareness of the careers that are possible and giving people a taste of the opportunities.

This year's Careers Festival, which runs during school half-term from October 15 to 22, presents her with the challenge of getting pubs involved on a bigger scale.The best chance of doing that is probably the opening day of the campaign, which has been designated Groundhog Day.

Although the film of the same name might lead you to jump to the conclusion that people in the hospitality industry repeat the same jobs over and over again, this is, in fact, a national job-shadowing day to prove just the opposite.

The idea is that you take someone - a child, relative, friend, lover, careers adviser - into work with you so they can see what it's really like.

"What we are doing is mass marketing the industry for a day," explained Tammy. "It's something anyone can get involved in and it costs nothing."

To make the most of Groundhog Day you should try to get publicity in the local paper or on the radio and when you register, for £10 Springboard will send you a pack to tell you how best to go about it.

The rest of the week will feature demonstrations, skills challenges and open days among many other events which will be announced later.

Another Springboard initiative that pubs should find it easy to take part in is the Ambassadors Club.

There are 200 members at the moment, and Tammy has set herself the target of growing it to 1,000.An Ambassador is an enthusiastic member of staff willing to go into schools and colleges and to community groups to tell them, simply, "what I love about my job".

They are sent on a course to develop their presentation skills and if they give at least three talks a year they qualify for club membership and entry into the annual awards.

Another idea is bus tours, picking students up from the school or college gates and taking them around local hotels, health clubs, tourist attractions - and pubs.

There is clearly little to stop licensees - and not just those in the big managed chains - getting involved in simple activities like this.

"Pubs are no different from the rest of the hospitality industry and they love to do the kind of community stuff that we are putting forward," said Tammy. "They are an area we certainly want to nurture but it all depends on operators giving us their support.

"Changing the perception of the industry in wider society is a massive project. But this is a people-oriented business and it's time for us to shout about it."

To get involved in the Careers Festival or other Springboard initiatives, call 020 7497 8654 or visit www.springboarduk.org.uk

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