Ei Group, the UK’s largest pub company, is strengthening its social responsibility efforts across the wider sector through a new corporate partnership with The Clink, the charity which aims to reduce reoffending by training and qualifying prisoners for employment as chefs in the hospitality sector upon release.
The new partnership demonstrates Ei Group’s focus on promoting hospitality as a career of choice and transforming lives through providing individuals from all backgrounds opportunities that can lead to meaningful employment.
Skilled labour in the hospitality sector remains a concern with chefs singled out as remaining in demand.
The Clink currently trains up to 200 prisoners a day to gain their Level 2 NVQs in Food Service, Food Preparation, Food Hygiene and Horticulture.
It operates four training restaurants in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, along with a training kitchen, gardens, a café and an events catering business.
Ei Group and The Clink will now work together to map out a programme of activity and bespoke initiatives over the coming months.
Simon Townsend, CEO at Ei Group, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to partner with The Clink, a charity which is doing fantastic and transformative work with prisoners in a number of different settings. The results it has achieved through its training programmes are impressive and we look forward to working together to support the charity in the future.
“As a business we are committed to promoting pubs and the wider hospitality sector as a career of choice and changing perceptions about the life-long opportunities, from bar to boardroom, our industry offers. Our new partnership with The Clink offers us a great avenue to progress that aim and make a difference.”
Christopher Moore, chief executive at The Clink Charity, added: “The Clink Charity demonstrates what can be achieved when society collectively engages to help those who want and deserve a second chance. We look forward to working with Ei Group and with their generosity and commitment, we can raise valuable funds for our life-changing work.
“We want to expand our training projects further and by partnering with Ei Group we will be able to raise awareness of our work in reducing reoffending and support the hospitality industry, which has a major skills shortage. Overall, we’ll be working together to change attitudes, transform lives, create second chances and make society a safer place.”
Ei Group has invested over £350m in its pubs over the last five years and is committed to investing a further £80m this financial year allowing its pubs and publicans to continue to provide a diverse range of goods, services and facilities to local communities while also offering new employment opportunities.