Essex: County council grant back Pub is The Hub training initiative

AN AWARD-winning pub/restaurant has secured a �5,000 grant from Essex County Council to support an initiative to provide work and training for young people.

The Pheasant Inn, at Gestingthorpe, near Halstead, which is owned by James and Diana Donoghue, is working with the Pub is The Hub organisation, set up by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2001, to help tackle the high rate of unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds.

Diana Donoghue said: ‘We’re proud to be an employer that invests in young people. It’s so important, now more than ever, to be skilled, and we can provide practical hands-on apprenticeships for those interested in becoming a chef, or learning more about horticulture.”

Pub is The Hub supports a range of rural regeneration projects which recognise the importance of pubs and other businesses such as village shops and post offices to the communities they serve.

“From the outset James and Diana wanted to involve the community,” said regional representative Terry Stork.

“Newcomers quickly realise that if they want to be part of the parish then being a regular at The Pheasant is the best way to do it!”

Besides unemployment among the young, skills are also an issue in rural areas, with organisations in the countryside competing for candidates who may be focusing on the surrounding towns.

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Lydia Clough from Essex Chambers of Commerce said: “Business needs a joined-up thinking approach to work with young people because the majority of our youngsters are very willing and able to work. They have the talents and intelligence needed to work in trade and industry.”