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Job vacancies pass pre-pandemic levels, Inn Collection Group ‘people team’, BrewDog culture review latest

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector
People moves: the latest news on people moves, jobs and training from across the pub sector

Related tags Jobs Salary Shepherd neame Brewdog Pubco + head office

The latest people news from the pub sector includes updates from Shepherd Neame, Inn Collection Group, BrewDog, the Portman Group and specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen.

Shepherd Neame communications executive Johnny Homer passes away

Shepherd Neame communications executive Johnny Homer passed away on Friday 9 July.

Homer, 56, worked for Shepherd Neame for eight years, joining first as a visitor centre tour guide then moving to the marketing team in 2018. 

Before joining Shepherd Neame Homer worked as a journalist at What's On In London​, Oracle Teletext,​ The Press Association​ and Northcliffe Media​ – the latter as sports editor of four weekly newspaper titles in Kent. 

His freelance work appeared in The Guardian​, The Face​, NME​, Melody Maker​, Sounds​, Vox​ and several other publications. He was also a published author, writing seven books on beer and pubs, with an eighth to be released later this year. 

Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “Johnny was a most valued member of our team. He was a fantastic ambassador for the company, for our beers and pubs and played a significant role in promoting Shepherd Neame. 

“He will be greatly missed. His loss is a great shock to us all, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.”


Inn Collection Group creates ‘people team’ 

The Inn Collection Group has created a new people team in a bid to attract and invest in talent.

The pubs with rooms operator has bolstered its senior team by appointing Elizabeth Robertson as head of people and development and Siobhan Hodge as learning, development and integration manager. 

Robertson joins the group after 14 years with independent retailer Fenwick as head of HR and training, while Hodge joins after 12 years with JD Wetherspoon.

“The Inn Collection Group piqued my interest. I kept reading about their growth journey in the media and their people credentials time after time,” Robertson said.

“It is a company that wants to grow its people. It’s my job to create a framework where we can attract the best people as well as develop colleagues from within, which, in turn, results in an enhanced customer experience. Get the colleague experience right and the customer experience will follow.

“Hospitality often gets bad press and can be seen as a transient place to work,” she added. “Yet it has amazing career paths with rapid routes to management opportunities, covering diverse transferable skills such as finance, marketing and people management. 

“It’s normal to underestimate the incredible stretch of skills people within the hospitality industry have, I want to make sure we recognise and improve this for our colleagues. “

Inn Collection

BrewDog to reveal culture review findings by end of 2021

According to reports by The Morning Advertiser’s (MA)​ sister title MCA​, BrewDog hopes to share high-level findings of its internal culture review before the end of the year.

The brewer and bar operator has hired consultancy Wiser – which has worked with the likes of Nike, Pret and the BBC – to conduct a full independent review of the company’s culture, which will include speaking to former employees as well as its current team.

In an update on LinkedIn, CEO and co-founder James Watt said BrewDog had also circulated an anonymous staff survey at the end of June, with findings to be fed into the independent review.

Watt said it had already completed a structural review which made it “immediately apparent” the business was under-resourced in certain areas.

“We recognise the need to change this, and so we are currently working to add approximately 100 new people across the business to make sure we are fully resourced in all areas,” he said.

BrewDog is also planning create an employee representation group to give staff a voice in the business, while team members that joined the business before 1 January 2021 have also been awarded a 3% salary increase.

“We want to be an employer for which our amazing team are truly proud to work, and we believe the actions we have taken – as well as those we are still working on – will help us meet that objective,” Watt added. “Our priorities now are to listen, to learn, and to take the actions required to address the issues that have been raised.”


UK job vacancies driven past pre-pandemic levels by hospitality and retail

According to reports by the BBC​, the number of job vacancies in the UK surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the three months to June, as per data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

According to latest figures, there were 862,000 jobs on offer between April and June – 77,500 higher than the first three months of 2020.

The ONS said the rise was driven by vacancies in hospitality and retailing.

The number of people on payrolls also grew, up 356,000 in June, in the biggest rise since the start of the pandemic.

There was a sharp increase in payrolls in both the food and accommodation sectors as more people returned to work following a further easing of Covid restrictions in May that allowed the hospitality industry to reopen.

"The labour market is continuing to recover, with the number of employees on payroll up again strongly in June," said Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS.

"However, it is still over 200,000 down on pre-pandemic levels, while a large number of workers remain on furlough."

Poppleston Allen announces new associate  

Leading alcohol and gambling licensing firm, Poppleston Allen, has promoted solicitor Natasha Beck to associate, as it sees business rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Beck, who joined the firm in 2010 as a paralegal, completed both her law degree (LLB Hons 2:1) and a masters degree in Banking and Finance at Sheffield Hallam University, before completing her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in Birmingham. 

Beck qualified as a solicitor in October 2013 and now advises some of the firm’s largest clients including Pizza Express, Five Guys, Ask Italian and Zizzi restaurants. 

Lisa Sharkey, managing partner at Poppleston Allen, said: “People development has always played a major part in our success. Natasha’s promotion is thoroughly deserved. It has been a real pleasure to watch Natasha grow within the firm.”

Natasha, whose promotion takes effect on July 1, added: “I’ve really enjoyed the journey from paralegal to associate and I’m proud to be taking this next step in my career with Poppleston Allen.

“Although the past 18 months have been challenging due to the pandemic, I really enjoy working in such a dynamic sector. Not only do we have a great client base, but I’m also fortunate enough to be surrounded by the best licensing solicitors in the business.”

This promotion means the firm, which has offices in Nottingham’s Lace Market and central London, has a total of 16 partners, solicitors and associates.


The Portman Group welcomes two new members

The Portman Group, the regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, has welcomed two new members, C&C Group – the firm behind Magners and Tenent’s in the UK – and Mark Anthony Brands International. 

The pair are the first new members to join in 2021 – the year in which the Portman Group is also celebrating 25 years of its code of practice – and bring the total group membership to fourteen.

C&C Group is returning as a member after previously leaving in 2014 while Mark Anthony Brands enhances the breadth of the Group’s membership, representing one of the foremost hard seltzer brands in the market, White Claw. 

David Forde, chief executive at C&C, was previously a Portman Group council member when he was CEO of Heineken UK and Ireland.

“Now more than ever, as we see the ramifications of Covid-19, the sector needs to come together to demonstrate that the UK alcohol industry takes its self-regulatory and social responsibility obligations very seriously,” Forde said. “As a regulator, the Portman Group actively helps the industry to avoid breaches of the code through guidance and training, holds the industry to account when necessary and represents the positive work of the sector to government. By re-joining the Portman Group, we are increasing our existing strong commitment to socially responsible business practices and industry self-regulation.”

Speaking about the drive for new members, chief executive of the Portman Group Matt Lambert added: “We are especially pleased to welcome two new members to the Portman Group in this the 25th​ anniversary of our code of practice. 

“It is a significant endorsement of our new strategy,” he continued. “We encourage producers and retailers, both large and small, to talk to us about how they too can play a full part in engaging with key policy challenges and actively supporting the self-regulatory model.”


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