Under the EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus) student exchange programme, the award-winning pub will send 12 participants to Spain and France over the next two years using approximately £52,500 in funding.
Those selected will complete a two-week vocational catering and hospitality project in either Angoulême, France; the Basque region of Northern Spain; or Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.
“It will be a project of their choice but designed so they can meet particular learning outcomes which I’ll help with,” the pub’s operator Glen Duckett, who himself participated in an Erasmus exchange in Barcelona, explained.
“For example, in Angoulême, there's a new craft brewery that I visited and met the owners of last time I was over there in June. So a placement could be someone working in the craft brewery about how the French are getting into American and IPA-style brewing and what they’re doing in terms of that style of beer.
“The key thing is that it fits in with what we do in terms of developing young people, supporting them through nationally recognised apprenticeship qualifications, and also giving them the opportunity to learn language skills through work abroad.
“Using that to widen their opportunities to work internationally, or just having some basic language skills that mean when they're working in the UK they can use languages to greet foreign customers and guests.”
Unusual for a pub to apply
The project will seek to enhance the opportunities of young people looking to pursue hospitality careers and qualifications in the UK while continuing the pub’s work with young people with learning difficulties, according to Duckett.
“One of the things we looked at, because we do quite a lot of specialist work with young people or people with learning difficulties and disabilities, was to specialise with pairing young people up,” he explained. “So having one young person with a learning disability with another young person.”
Usually presented to schools, colleges and universities, Duckett believes his is the first pub to be awarded an Erasmus grant.
“Erasmus is quite a challenging thing to get and it’s predominantly schools and colleges that work on it. It’s pretty unusual for a pub to apply to do it,” he explained.
“It’s very competitive and completing the application requires quite an intense amount of work because of what you have to demonstrate in terms of your expertise around training, staff development, what experience you've got already in terms of engaging with partners abroad.
“You’ve got to have actually done some ground work before you apply for Erasmus funding – which is why, for the past few years, we've been going over to France and building relationships up.
“We've got projects to demonstrate that we can deliver vocational projects for young people abroad.”