Vice chairman Anthony Pender explained that the scheme, which offers work placements to young people, is now taking off in the south of the country to more than 25 local operators, including representatives from Admiral, Pub People, Spirit, Amber Taverns, Everards and Marston’s pub companies.
The programme, which was established earlier this year, has seen around 24 young people go through the programme and move into a work placement, two of which have been employed full time.
Pender said 1,500 placements have been pledged from companies, with Punch Taverns agreeing to work with multiple operators to provide 100 places over the next year.
Jackie Burn, HR Director at Punch, said: “This programme is exactly what is needed in order to drive some consistency of skills at entry level into our profession.
“At Punch we’re passionate about supporting our licensees and endeavour to provide them with every opportunity to access talent. The simplicity of the scheme enables our licensees to engage with the programme and not to have to worry about the initial selection and training as this is undertaken on their behalf.
“They also benefit from working with young people who have knowledge of the sector through the pre-employment training and who will be ready to undertake work placement positions.”
Mike Stainforth, director of Probably the Best Pubs in the World, added: “The Perceptions programme certainly sparked our interest. We will be looking at how we can support the scheme and how many placements we can pledge going forward”.
Employers in the pub and bar sector can select and manage candidates through the website of the Hospitality Guild (hospitalityguild.co.uk), a body which unites organisations to develop professional standards in the hospitality industry.