The operator of close to 3,000 venues aims to create an extra 1,000 jobs by increasing funding to projects that support its attempts to boost the number of young people from BAME backgrounds it employs via existing Prince’s Trust programmes by a third.
Ultimately, Greene King - which last week reported losses of more than £270m - aims to raise the percentage of young people from minority ethnic backgrounds entering the business through its youth charity partnership from 24% currently to 40% by year five.
The announcement builds upon Greene King’s four years of work in tandem with The Prince’s Trust through which it has already supported 440 young people into employment and training via its Get into Hospitality and Ready to Work schemes.
What’s more, Greene King pledged £20,000 to The Prince’s Trust Young Persons’ Relief Fund at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in a bid to help the charity provide practical and emotional support.
“We are really excited to announce this new partnership programme with The Prince’s Trust,” Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie said of the latest Prince’s Trust partnership.
“We have a longstanding and excellent partnership with a track record in helping young people from all backgrounds get into a rewarding careers.
“Supporting young people into careers now is more important than ever as we face globally uncertain times.”
Address diversity imbalance
Mackenzie added that Greene King was focused on building a diverse workforce that represents the society it serves.
“The young people we recruit into our business today will be the business leaders of tomorrow and so it is vital that we address the diversity imbalance across our business and create opportunities that encourage young people from BAME communities to join us,” he said.
“The Prince’s Trust delivers outstanding programmes and opportunities for young people and we are delighted that in strengthening our partnership with them we will together achieve our common goals.”
“We are committed to developing an ambitious programme on diversity, particularly focussing on welcoming colleagues into Greene King from BAME communities and we will be updating with more detailed plans in the coming months.”
The Prince’s Trust’s chief executive Jonathan Townsend added that he was delighted to announce this new stage of the youth charity’s partnership with Greene King.
“The Prince’s Trust and Greene King already have an excellent relationship and we’re looking forward to working with even more young people through our partnership,” he said.
“Greene King offers excellent career pathways for young people and we’re pleased to be supporting their commitment to improving the diversity of their workforce.”
Greene King’s new pledge and extended partnership forms part of the Suffolk-based brewer and operator’s wider diversity strategy and will also deliver mentoring and talent programmes to develop future leaders.
As previously reported by The Morning Advertiser (MA), Greene King made a commitment to redouble efforts to diversify its workforce and make a substantial investment to support the BAME community as part of wider discussions about British companies with historic links to slavery
The brewer and pub operator described the revelation that one of its founders, Benjamin Greene, profited from 19th century slavery and argued against its abolition as “inexcusable”.
“While that is a part of our history, we are now focused on the present and future,” MacKenzie said in response. “Today, I am proud we employ 38,000 people across the UK from all backgrounds and that racism and discrimination have no place at Greene King.
“We don’t have all the answers so that is why we are taking the time to listen and learn from all the voices, including our team members and charity partners as we strengthen our diversity and inclusion work.”
Following MacKenzie’s comments, Greene King has established a race diversity group to sit alongside its LGBT and women’s staff networks, implemented a ‘comply or explain’ diversity target with its partner recruitment agencies and launched a data gathering exercise among its 38,000-strong workforce to better understand its ethnic makeup.