Ei Group expands programme to attract young talent into pub business

Ei Group, the UK’s largest pub company, has expanded a pioneering programme that aims to inspire young people to enter the pub trade across England and Wales.

Pub Pros, now in its second year, is a work readiness programme run by education enrichment organisation, Stride Learning. It aims to inform and inspire school leavers about careers in pubs while building employability skills such as teamwork, leadership, assertiveness and critical thinking.

The number of schools and pubs taking part this year has doubled from six to 12, with the programme’s geographical reach also growing, with pubs from Hull to Exeter taking part.

For the first time, Ei Group head office will also take part in Pub Pros, in partnership with Solihull College.

The programme sees up to 30 pupils from each school take part in a series of three half-day workshops including a meet-the-publican session followed by an in-pub taster day this summer.

Also new for this year is an alternative programme, Pub Pathways, which is a one-day workshop.

Ei Group commercial director, Paul Harbottle, said: “Working in a pub or the wider hospitality sector is often overlooked as a potential career choice for young people. However, following last year’s successful Pub Pros programme, I am confident this will continue to change perceptions, with even more students and publicans getting involved this year.

“By partnering even more of our Ei Publican Partnerships’ estate with local schools, we’re delighted to be giving a greater number of pupils the opportunity to meet first-class publicans and explore the sector, by experiencing our fast-paced and social businesses. We hope that this will inspire our next generation to add our sector to their career choices and future-proof the industry.”

Ei Group is the largest portfolio manager of pubs in the UK, with some 4,400 properties. Its business is built on the strength and scale of its leased and tenanted pub operation coupled with a rapidly growing managed pub estate. The company has invested more than £250m over the last five years.

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