GK – career advice must be same for bar work as uni degrees

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Jobs for all: Dharia is on a supported internship programme, in partnership with Mencap, at the Hendon pub in north-west London
Jobs for all: Dharia is on a supported internship programme, in partnership with Mencap, at the Hendon pub in north-west London

Related tags Finance Social responsibility Multi-site pub operators Pubco + head office

Greene King (GK) has called for training in bar and restaurant staff to be given equal footing to university degrees in terms of career advice after its research found almost half of young people (48%) believe the hospitality sector does not offer good career prospects.

The Suffolk-based brewer and pub operator also found 20% of young people say hospitality is viewed negatively as a career in society.

The research forms the basis of Greene King’s Untapping Potential: the role of pubs in levelling up skills, jobs and communities​ report, which was launched on Wednesday (29 June). It focuses on how pubs can deliver the Government’s Levelling Up​ agenda by providing the training, career development and sense of local pride that communities need to help them thrive after the pandemic.

Lack of promising local jobs

The report, which uses research based on a survey of 2,000 UK adults aged between 16 and 25, highlights the need to improve career opportunities in local communities across the UK as three in five (57%) young people don’t believe there are enough promising job opportunities in their local area, despite 89% of the same group being interested in a job that would allow them to stay in their community.

The report also found almost half of young people (48%) believe that hospitality only provides short-term opportunities, not promising careers, highlighting a perception problem.

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: “Pubs have always been about people, and I’ve witnessed the way a job in a pub can completely change a person’s life and become a lifelong, successful career. That’s why I’m proud that Greene King is making these commitments to provide people from all backgrounds access meaningful, rewarding careers in their local communities.

“Pubs have so much to offer both for those looking for careers and those in the local community. If we are to fully capitalise on this potential, government and wider industry must pull together to promote careers in hospitality and empower businesses to offer even more training and development opportunities.”

Parity in work routes

Greene King said the Government and National Careers Service must do more to promote the vital role jobs in hospitality have by committing to providing parity between vocational and academic routes in all careers advice and give hospitality careers equal prominence to all other sectors.

The commitments announced by Greene King to create more local career opportunities and to help challenge these misconceptions, include adding 5,000 new apprentices across the 32 different types of apprenticeships currently available by 2025, building on the 15,000 individuals that have already completed the programme since 2011; recruiting 300 more prison leavers by 2025 and opening the first Greene King prison training kitchen at HMP Thameside; launching a chef academy programme this year, working with TV chef and presenter Joe Hurd to help train the next generation of chefs; and providing 100 new internships to those with special educational needs and an Education and Health Care Plan by 2025.

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