NITA award winners announced

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Training and talent: Industry professionals recognised at the NITA awards
Training and talent: Industry professionals recognised at the NITA awards

Related tags Awards Apprenticeship Training Bii Bii nita awards

Yesterday (28 April 2022), the very best in training, apprenticeships and wellbeing programmes were recognised at the British Institute of Innkeeping’s (BII) National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs).

Some 300 people from across the sector came together for the awards, which were preceded by the People Conference which heard contribution from industry leaders. Among these were speakers from Greene King, New World Trading Company, Beers and Peers and KAM.

The evening culminated in the presentation of the Franca Knowles Live Your Life Award, a recognition for an individual who leads by example, and demonstrates people are at the core of everything they do.

Outstanding industry contribution

The award was presented by founder and chief executive of Beds and Bars Keith Knowles to the Yummy Pub Company co-founder Anthony Pender for his outstanding work over many years supporting the wider industry.

Pender said he was “genuinely surprised and humbled” to be recognised with an accolade, especially as the award had been decided by previous winners he deeply respected and looked up to.

The award is in memory of the late Franca Knowles, who herself was a multiple winner at the NITAs, being a leader in people development and training.

All about people

Franca took pleasure in seeing young team members grow and thrive, and placed great value on investing in people, recognising the benefits for both the employer, employee and wider industry.

Knowles said: “On a personal note the Franca Knowles award and the NITAs are all about our people and I am proud to have been involved in re-establishing the NITAs as the industry awards for recognising exceptional innovation in people development. 

“We are all very aware of the current challenges for our sector, so to see the innovation, collaboration and sharing of ideas at the BII People Conference and NITAs makes me extremely positive about the future ahead.”


The winners on the night were:

Staff Wellbeing – Individual Site Award

Caviar and Chips – Gemma Carter-Morris


Staff Wellbeing – Company Award

Beds and Bars


HR Manager of the Year Award

Jemelle Bish – Stonegate


Training Professional of the Year Award

Natalya Watson – Beer with Nat


Best Training Programme: Apprenticeships Award



Best Training Programme: Individual Operator

Tollemache Arms – Joe Buckley


Best Training Programme: Managed under 50



Best Training Programme: Managed over 50

Star Pubs and Bars


Hospitality Apprentice of the Year – Company Award

Natalija Folmer – Brewhouse and Kitchen


Hospitality Apprentice of the Year – Individual Site Award

Grace Bailey-Williams – The New Inn


Franca Knowles Live Your Life Award

Anthony Pender

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