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Pubs giant set to take on more apprentices during recession

PUBLISHED: 00:31 17 August 2020

Greene King is creating more apprenticeship posts  Picture: ADAM SMY

Greene King is creating more apprenticeship posts Picture: ADAM SMY

Adam Smy

Pubs and brewing giant Greene King is ramping up its apprentice workforce after bringing back more than 90% of its staff.

Greene King is taking on 150 new apprentices - with more to follow   Picture: ADAM SMYGreene King is taking on 150 new apprentices - with more to follow Picture: ADAM SMY

So far, none of the Bury St Edmunds-based company’s vast workforce has been made redundant as a result of the crippling effects of the coronavirus crisis on the hospitality sector, it said. It has made use of the government’s flexi-furlough scheme to bring some workers back part-time.

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Now it wants to attract more young people into the industry after investing in 150 live apprenticeship roles – with plans to increase that number over the coming weeks.

It is launching its latest apprenticeship drive to coincide with ‘A’ Level students receiving their results.

It wants to encourage more youngsters to take up a career in hospitality, it said.

A Greene King pubs operating under new social distancing rules  Picture: ADAM SMYA Greene King pubs operating under new social distancing rules Picture: ADAM SMY

The company employs around 38k staff across the group, which comprises 2,750 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK. It runs 1,700 of them, and around 1,050 other sites are either tenanted, leased or franchised pubs.

Among the apprenticeship programmes on offer is a management training scheme, but the posts cover the gamut from a basic Level 2 to a degree standard Level 7.

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“Apprenticeships can provide an alternative route for school leavers who may not want to go to university and can lead to rewarding and fulfilling careers,” it said.

In 2019-20, 43% of Greene King’s apprentice vacancies were filled by 16 to 18 year olds – an increase of 3% on the previous year. Roles range from front of house and kitchen all the way up to management and supervisory levels.

Head of apprenticeships Graham Briggs said university isn’t the right path for everyone, and apprenticeships played an important role in social mobility.

“We wish the best of luck to all those receiving their A Level results this week,” he said.

“An apprenticeship can provide an alternative route and be the start of a rewarding and fulfilling career.

“Our apprenticeship programme enables young people to earn while they learn, offering the best of both worlds.

“With a particularly challenging jobs market at the moment, we are pleased that we can continue providing roles to young people at the start of their careers.


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