Post-18 education plans can ‘reduce burden’ on hospitality
Industry trade body UKHospitality (UKH) has called on the Government to provide hospitality-specific training and support as part of its plans to equip workers for post-pandemic economy via expanded post-18 education and training.
On 29 September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged that, from April, adults in England without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course – paid for through the National Skills Fund.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to provide some support for hospitality,” UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said of the plans. “Sector-specific training programmes can be a real boost for businesses and employees in our sector.
“We are facing a bleak six months, with restrictions on trading and low consumer confidence. Government-backed training schemes can reduce the burden on hard-pressed businesses and give employees a chance to develop during a quiet winter.
“If the Government supports training in our sector, it will keep more jobs open and put is in a much stronger position to begin rebuilding next year.”
Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie also welcomed the announcement of increased funding for skills and further education.
“As a business we are passionate about improving social mobility and developing the skills of the nation’s young people to ensure they are ready for work,” he said. “That is why we invest heavily in apprenticeships, supporting over 12,500 since 2011.”
According to a Government statement, a full list courses will be revealed shortly.
The Drinks Trust launches Brewery Workers End of Furlough Grant
Drinks industry charity and community organisation, The Drinks Trust, has revealed that it will be providing 200 emergency grants of £250 to members of the brewing industry who have been made redundant in the last four months and those in the process of redundancy.
Depending on demand and ongoing donations to the charity, further grants may be made available in coming weeks.
The Drinks Trust will also look to provide mental health services to bring industry colleagues and support across talking therapies, sleep and insomnia treatment and mindful drinking.
“We particularly wanted to reach out to those in the brewing sector, who like many others in the drinks and hospitality industries have been hard hit, and have gone without the support of others,” Ross Carter, The Drinks Trust’s chief executive, said.
“Industries like brewing, risk being amongst those who go unseen by the public, despite having faced some of the most significant challenges in their careers in recent months”
According to the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), brewing businesses lost as much as 80% of their trade overnight when pubs, bars and restaurants were closed in March.
"The hospitality industry is being devastated by the coronavirus social distancing and lockdown measures imposed on it, with small independent brewers some of the worst hit having received no support from Government,” James Calder, SIBA chief executive added.
“SIBA are working with the Drinks Trust on the End of Furlough Grant and would encourage anyone impacted by redundancy to apply for the grant today and speak to the Drinks Trust about the ongoing support they can offer those who have fallen on hard times."
Covid-19 potential ‘catalyst for more positive gendered and ethnic change’
A report produced by Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure (WiHTL) in partnership with The MBS Group and PwC has revealed that despite female staff and workers from ethnic minorities being more likely to be furloughed, put on reduced hours or made redundant, the ongoing pandemic could be a “catalyst” for positive change.
While Guarding against unintended consequences: The Impact of Covid-19 on Gender and Race & Ethnic Diversity in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure, found that three quarters (77%) of businesses claimed that diversity and inclusion either remained a priority or became a higher priority since Covid-19, the issue has only been raised in board meetings at 15% of businesses since the outset of the crisis.
PwC research also found that a higher proportion of women have been furloughed, put on reduced hours or made redundant (65%) than men (56%), while 67% of BAME staff have been furloughed, put on reduced hours or made redundant, compared to 62% of white colleagues.
Additionally, only 15% of businesses interviewed claimed to have measured the impact of pandemic measures on female or ethnic minority employees, while only 6% have measured the impact of redundancies, or potential redundancies.
“This is not the time to slow down our individual and collaborative efforts towards creating more inclusive environments,” Tea Colainni, founder and chair of WiHTL explained.
“This crisis might be the catalyst for more positive gendered and ethnic change if we are able to harness the benefits and mitigate the risks.
“This is the time to invest in diverse talent, to create sustainable outputs and to eliminate inequalities.
“It is not just a question of moral justice; it is a matter of competitive advantage in the face of huge adversity and uncertainty.”
T&R Theakston executive director to step down
T&R Theakston executive director Collin Wood has announced that he will retire from the brewer’s board at the beginning of November having been at the business since 1987.
Wood, alongside co-executive director Simon Theakston, is credited with engineering the buy-back of Theakston’s from Scottish & Newcastle 17 years ago.
“I have enjoyed every moment of my time at Theakston’s and indeed before at Scottish & Newcastle,” he explained. “The brewing industry has been and always will be a hugely rewarding and enjoyable place to work.
“I’ve had a wonderful career and it’s a source of great delight that, despite the extraordinary Covid related circumstances currently facing our industry, I leave T&R Theakston as a thriving independent family business, but now the time has come for me to focus on other personal interests and to devote my time to these.”
The brewer also announced that Richard Bradbury, currently trading director at Heineken UK, has been appointed as its new joint managing director.
“I am delighted to join the executive team of T&R Theakston and look forward to utilising all my experiences to help develop the next chapter in the company’s long and proud history,” Bradbury said.
Bradbury, who has been a non-executive director at T&R Theakston since 2014, takes up his appointment on 2 November.
Sacha Lord joins NTIA board
Night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and co-founder of Parklife and The Warehouse Project, Sacha Lord, has joined the board of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).
“It is clear Sacha’s heart and soul is deeply embedded within this industry and we feel his passion and drive for change is self-evident from the impact he has had on the sector within Greater Manchester in his role as night-time economy adviser,” Michael Kill, NTIA chief executive, said.
“His engagement will add another dimension to the NTIA board and its fight to stand up for what seems more and more like an exiled sector.”
Lord added that during the past few months, it has become clear that the nightlife sector needs to work together. “Not only to help the industry pull through these difficult times but to co-ordinate and shape a way forward so that we can recover, stronger than ever,” he said.
“I have known and worked alongside the NTIA and Michael for many years and I credit him as one of the most knowledgeable and expert voices in the night-time economy.
“I have been extremely impressed by his drive to speak out against policies that have crippled our sector, and he has been instrumental in helping industry leaders and operators navigate this turbulent period.”
Star Pubs & Bars to fund licensees’ BII memberships
Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs & Bars, has announced plans to fund membership of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) – of £155 value per licensee - for more than 2,000 leased and tenanted operators.
The move will see licensees benefit from eight different helplines for issues ranging from HR to Covid-19; preferential rates on products and services from trusted industry suppliers, and a knowledge bank of guides and business tools.
“Licensees are doing a complete 360-degree review of their businesses looking at how they can adapt to the new trading conditions,” Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens explained. “Operations, marketing and offers are all changing as pubs reinvent themselves to maximise sales and profits.
“We want to provide licensees with as much help as possible. The BII membership perfectly complements the support we provide.”
BII chief executive, Steven Alton added: “The BII has always been at the heart of trusted, independent support for licensed trade professionals.
“Over the last few months we have been proudly supporting our members with the challenges of the pandemic, providing clear, actionable information.
“Sharing the experiences and innovation of our diverse national members is at the heart of what we do at the BII.
“As everyone continues to adapt their pubs to trading in this new world, we look forward to supporting all of our members in rebuilding their businesses.”
Greene King breaks ‘inflexible’ pay monthly cycle for 38,000 staff
Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator Greene King has teamed up with Wagestream to offer its 38,000 team members ‘real-time access to earned pay’.
Workers across Greene King’s head office and 2,700 venues will be able to dip into a percentage of their earned wages on any day of the month to help them meet unforseen expenses during the ongoing pandemic.
Staff will also have access to a range of financial education tools via the platform in conjunction with The Money Advice Service, including financial webinars and an online support hub.
“We care about our team members and know some of them will have encountered real financial difficulties due to consequences of the pandemic,” Andrew Bush, chief people officer, at Greene King, said.
“While we were able to provide a Support Fund during lockdown, we know that looking ahead, Wagestream will help to alleviate some of this financial stress by helping those affected meet unexpected expenses.”
Peter Briffett, CEO and co-Founder of Wagestream, added: “The pandemic has caused a lot of worry for employees and this has been felt particularly badly in the hospitality sector.
“Greene King has picked the perfect moment to launch what we know is one of the most important workplace revolutions in pay of recent years.
“The UK’s traditional monthly pay cycle is inflexible when unexpected expenses come out of nowhere, and what people need in that situation is easier access to the money they have already earned.
“We’re proud to be partnering with the great team at Greene King to boost the financial resilience of their colleagues.”