Powering our 50,000 pubs in the UK requires hundreds of thousands of motivated and well-trained staff and, as a people business, the sector must always make recruitment and retention a top priority. This is particularly the case when you combine the Brexit uncertainty faced by all people businesses, with the specific shortfalls in qualified pub chefs that we are currently grappling with as a sector.
In response, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is building on our recent successes. In launching initiatives like Pub Chef Passion and our Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year competition, we are leading the sector’s discussions with Government to ensure its emerging industrial strategy gives weight to hospitality and, for us specifically, to pub jobs.
Our Pub Chef competition attracted more than 130 nominations and was a real showcase for some of the best pub food in the country. This year, we were delighted to crown Kevin Maclean and Amy Houghton as winners. The competition was a valuable tool in focusing MPs’ attention on the great work pub chefs do and showcased the ever-increasing standard of food in pubs to satisfy a discerning customer.
Working with Visit Britain and the Tourism Alliance, BBPA has been asking Government to support an industrial strategy for our sector. Industrial strategies cannot be only for cars and high tech. Our proposal looks at skills, increasing productivity (partly through extending the tourism season), connectivity (how to encourage visitors to go outside London) and deregulation. Five CEOs of BBPA member companies supported a letter to Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) before Christmas and are now looking at recruitment and retention. BBPA has offered £100,000 towards a £1m, three-year campaign. Others across the tourism and hospitality sector need to do the same and we can then ask Government to match it. We need to encourage young people to enter our industry through the new T-levels and apprenticeships. We then need to keep them, retain our existing staff and look at how we encourage older people to come and work with us.
I am sure that readers of The Morning Advertiser are aware the pub industry is an exciting place to work. This is a campaign, however, that everyone can support, whether you are a small independent pub or a national company.
Together, we have the ability to promote our sector as a great place to work that is fun, exciting and innovative.
Interested in working in the pub industry? Then take a look at MA’s jobs site.