The partnership between Greene King and The Prince’s Trust, called Get Into Hospitality, launched in April of this year and has since seen 40 apprentices complete the programme, with 29 of them being offered positions at Greene King venues.
When asked why it had launched the scheme in the first instance, Greene King chief executive officer Rooney Anand said: “We know that many young people find it difficult to get their first job, particularly in disadvantaged areas and we believe pubs can help them get onto the career ladder.
“As a leader in the hospitality industry, we want to support young people into work by offering opportunities to learn a skill and a trade and help them start their career journeys.”
Introduction to work
The programme begins with a three-week course that gives an introduction to working in the hospitality industry for the 16 to 25-year-olds; covering guest service, alcohol licensing laws and food preparation. On top of this, during the programme, students receive help with CV writing and interview techniques, as well as career support and guidance from their Greene King ‘buddies’.
The buddies are staff members already in Greene King pubs that offer to take the par-ticipants in the scheme under their wing to give them the hands-on knowledge of working in a pub.
When the participants have completed the initial course, there is a celebration event that sees the young people recollect their experiences and receive certificates from the pub company and charity, in front of family, friends and representatives from both organisations.
The first celebration for graduates from the course took place in Southwark, south London, in May and one recently took place in Glasgow.
One graduate from the Glasgow scheme was 22-year-old Gemma Shergold, who had previously only had just one temporary job since leaving college at the age of 17 to have a baby. Since completing the scheme, she is now working front of house at Glasgow’s Cairns bar.
A breath of fresh air
Shergold’s buddy, Angela Hickey, who is general manager at Cairns bar, said: “Gemma was and is such a breath of fresh air and it was just a pleasure to acknowledge her development by offering her a position as a front-of-house team member with us.
“Despite having such low confidence when she joined us, just days into her work placement, she showed a fantastic work ethic and just got on with the job. I only had to guide her through instructions once and then off she went and did it.
“Just a few months on, I can see how much Gemma’s confidence has progressed and could definitely see in a few years her stepping up into a supervisor’s role.”
Throughout the first year of the scheme, there will be 12 programmes based all over the UK.
'It was a huge confidence boost'
Jed Hussein, 21, knows first-hand how the Greene King and The Prince’s Trust’s Get Into Hospitality programme can unlock a different future.
“I left school before completing my GCSEs and had, until recently, been working with my brother on our family market stall. I knew I wanted to do something different, but it was difficult – almost all the jobs I saw required previous experience or qualifications, which I didn’t have. Then I heard about the Get Into Hospitality programme from my work coach when visiting my local Jobcentre Plus.
“Fast forward a month and I was at the Get Into Hospitality information day, where we learned all about the programme and Greene King. I walked away from that day thinking that this was an opportunity to grasp with both hands.
“It was a huge confidence boost to be told a few days later that I’d been selected by Greene King and The Prince’s Trust to take part in the course itself. I couldn’t wait to get on board and start learning some new skills.”