Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King pledges to create 2,000 apprenticeships

Isabelle Pearson, who has completed to apprenticeships with Greene King and now manages her own pub.

Isabelle Pearson, who has completed to apprenticeships with Greene King and now manages her own pub. - Credit: Archant

Pubs and brewing group Greene King has marked National Apprenticeship Week by confirming plans to offer a further 2,000 apprenticeships over the next 12 months.

The Bury St Edmunds-based company, which owns pubs across the country, provides a programme of management qualifications for team members within its retail division, in partnership with national apprenticeship provider Lifetime Training.

Greene King has just fulfilled its 2014 quota of 2,000 apprentices, meaning that it has now helped to support more than 4,500 apprenticeships since 2011, and it has now pledged to offer a similar number of opportunities in the coming year.

The scheme’s combination of workplace training and academic learning, giving apprentices a wide range of experience working across Grene King’s pub, restaurant and hotel sites, saw the company named among the finalists in the recent Apprenticeships 4 England Employer of the Year Award.

Rooney Anand, Greene King chief executive, said: “We are pleased to announce that we will be taking on another 2,000 apprentices this year. It is so important to support young people to get that all-important first step on the career ladder.

“Apprenticeships provide learners with valuable skills which will help them to build a career. Our new pledge is a testament to the level of support we provide to the hospitality industry as well as our investment in our employees.

“We offer opportunities to those of all ages and it is highly encouraging to see that so many of our sites have taken up the programme and we hope that over the coming years we are able to further grow and develop the scheme.”

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Greene King says that its apprenticeship programme has supported its efforts to combat an industry-wide shortage of chefs, with more than three-quarters of apprentices recruited since last summer having gone into “back of house” roles, including some in kitchen roles.

Mr Annand added: “Apprenticeships help to reduce team turnover, increase employee engagement and provide us with the opportunity to grow our own talent by investing in our people and supporting their career ambitions.”

Among Greene King’s apprenticeship successes is Isabelle Pearson, from Nottingham, who was a finalist in the 2014 National Apprentice Awards,

She has completed two apprenticeships with Greene King, helping her to progress from a part-time bar role to managing her own pub in just three years.

Isabelle said: “I am really proud to work for Greene King. The training and support I have received has been invaluable to help me forge a career in the hospitality industry. My apprenticeship has taught me some vital skills which have helped me in my new role running a pub and managing a team.”

Greene King’s retail division currently operates around 1,000 directly managed pubs, restaurants and hotels in England, Wales and Scotland, including brands such as Hungry Horse, Loch Fyne, Old English Inns and Eating Inn.

The group also owns about 900 pubs which operate under tenancy, lease and franchise arrangements and it also has brewing operations in Bury St Edmunds and Dunbar, in Scotland. In total, the group employs around 23,000 people.

In January this year, its shareholders backed a £774million acquisition of the Sprit Pub Company which owns 794 managed pubs, operatinig under brands such as Chef & Brewer, Fayre & Square and Flaming Grill, and a further 433 leased pubs.