Training excellence recognised at BII’s NITAs

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Live Your Life award: HIT Training's Jill Whittaker with Keith Knowles (left) and Steve Alton (right)
Live Your Life award: HIT Training's Jill Whittaker with Keith Knowles (left) and Steve Alton (right)

Related tags Bii nita awards Training Pubco + head office Apprenticeship

Pubcos and individuals were honoured for their excellence in people development at the British Institute of Innkeeping’s (BII) National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs).

The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday (21 November) in front of a packed house at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City.

The NITAs followed the BII People Conference during the day where guests heard from leading thinkers from across the hospitality sector on attracting and retaining talent, creating truly inclusive spaces and creating nurturing environment for teams. 

BII CEO Steve Alton also announced the launch of a new membership offer for team members called Workforce, which will begin in early 2024.

Three new awards

Collaborating with key industry partners, Workforce will support those starting and developing their careers in hospitality with training, mentoring, development resources and inspiration from across the sector.

This year saw the introduction of three new awards, the Best Training Programmes for Sustainability and Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, and the Best Recruitment Strategy.

Winners on the evening were:

Best Training Programme: Apprenticeships​ - Brewhouse & Kitchen

Training Professional of the Year - ​Sze Rasak, Fuller’s

Best Training Programme: Leased & Tenanted - ​Marston’s

Best Training Programme: Managed Over-50 - ​Brunning & Price

Best Training Programme: Managed Under-50 - ​Oakman Inns

Best Training Programme: Individual Operator - ​Ollie Coulombeau, The Turk’s Head

Best Recruitment Strategy​ - Star Pubs & Bars

Team Wellbeing Award - ​Brunning & Price

Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity Award ​- ABinBev

Best Training Programme: Sustainability ​- Marston’s

Hospitality Apprentice of the Year ​- Harry Widgery, Wykeham Arms

The awards culminated in the Franca Knowles Live your Life Award, presented by Keith Knowles OBE CBII, CEO of Beds & Bars.

Decided by a panel of previous winners, this year the award went to executive chair of HIT Training, Jill Whittaker. 

Passionate advocate

Whittaker has been a long-term, passionate advocate of hospitality and how professional development can power careers. She was also awarded an OBE by the King earlier this year recognising her contribution to the sector.

The BII is an independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with 13,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs.

The organisation provides helplines, online business support and guidance on key industry issues. It also offers savings on a range of supply deals for its members.

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