Press Release: Hospitality Industry serves up youth unemployment answer to government

Perceptions Group vice-chairman Anthony Pender is pushing for the government to be more supportive of the hospitality industry following Labour’s claim that long-term youth unemployment is costing taxpayers more than £180m a year.

“With 2015 being an election year, it is vital that we make sure that the political parties are aware of the economic importance of the hospitality industry,” said Pender in response to the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves comments.  “Youth unemployment has always been a challenge for the government, however there are thousands of jobs out there but more support is to help educate and inform students; teachers and careers advisors about vast range of opportunities that exist within this vibrant sector.”

People 1st, the sector skills organization for the hospitality sector, predict that this area alone will need an additional 848,000 workers by 2020 with 1 in 4 of these being within the pub and bar sector.

“The misconception arises when people think about pubs and bars – they cannot see further than the part-time, pocket money options.  The truth is a young person can progress quickly, learning all the skills required to run a business and take responsibility for a premises that would typically turn over in excess of £1 Million.  That’s big business,” said Pender.

The licensed hospitality sector creates 1 in 6 of all new jobs for 18 –24 year olds. Alongside the hundreds of thousands of front-line staff are the business support functions including HR; finance; marketing; sales; logistics and the like where onward progression to director and board level opportunities open up.

“Many of the senior directors that run the pub companies of today started their career behind a bar.  The likes of Stonegate Pub Company’s Chairman Ian Payne – he started life behind the bar at the Bull at Barming, near Maidstone, and now runs the UK’s largest privately held managed pub operator in the UK, with revenues in excess of half a billion pounds, employing over 12,000 people. There are many other successes of similar ilk,” added Pender.

The pub and bar sector is a major employer, both directly and indirectly, supporting the thousands of small businesses within local communities up and down the country.  Last year the sector created 37,000 new jobs with over 80% of these going to 18-24 year olds.  A report by Oxford Economics, commission by the British Beer and Pub Association confirmed the positive impact on both the local and national economy demonstrating that within retail and brewing in the region of 1 Million jobs are sustained with circa £13bn in wages paid.

“A multitude of entry routes are open to those looking to get into work.  From traineeships and apprenticeships to graduate programmes.  We really are an industry that is part of the unemployment solution,” added Pender.

Editor Notes:

 * Source: Local Impact of the Pub and Beer Sector (2010)

  • Anthony Pender is the Vice Chairman of Perceptions Group, Managing Director of Yummy Pub Co and Chairman of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII)
  • Pub & Bar Careers is a not-for-profit industry initiative set up by the Perceptions Group. It was created to challenge the negative image of careers within the industry and to encourage young people to look at the sector as somewhere where they can pursue a rewarding career.
  • Pub & Bar Careers Perception was voted Best Industry Initiative at the industry’s Publican Awards 2014.
  • The Perceptions group is made up of industry professionals including: Chairman: Keith Knowles, CEO, Beds & Bars Group; Vice Chairman: Anthony Pender, Managing Director, Yummy Pubs; representatives from the professional trade associations British Beer and Pubs Association; Associations of Licensed Multiple Retailers; British Institute of Innkeeping; All party Parliamentary Beer Group.
  • A new Pub & Bar Careers website is launching early this year. The current website is
  • Twitter: @PubnBarCareers


Press Release: Young People Manage Million Pound Businesses

The survey, carried out by the Pub & Bar Careers team has uncovered that over 60% of young managers under 30 operate a business with an annual turnover of over 1 million or more. To gain the experience and expertise needed to take on a responsible managerial position, 67% of managers took less than three years.

“After two years of hard work and steady career progression in the industry, I’ve become the manager of a busy pub in Chiswick.There is a common misconception that young people can’t progress into managerial positions, or find rewarding employment,” said 24 year-old Harriet Teague, who manages the Fullers pub, The Pilot. Entry-level roles like glass collectors and bar staff, are proved to be the route to senior positions, as 81% of managers started their careers behind the bar.

Three quarters of managers have also completed college or graduated from university. Twenty-four year old Francesca Dickinson said, “I was studying for my degree in Psychology whilst working part-time at the Slug & Lettuce in York, progressing my career in tandum with my studies. The sector has lots to offer graduates, school and college leavers. Now deputy manager, I am aiming to become an area manager in the future – there is no limit in this exciting industry”,.

Customer service, leadership, administration, finance and HR are the most valuable business skills learnt in the industry, as voted by managers. Managers and bar staff alike stated that the most enjoyable aspects of working in a pub or bar environment are interacting with customers, injecting their personality into the premises and meeting new people.

Over 70% of young members of staff are aiming for a promotion. “We have uncovered that the industry offers young people with charisma and a passion for the sector the opportunity to rapidly progress their careers. Management is just one of the prosperous paths offered in the industry. Over half of the bar staff surveyed stated that their biggest achievement is gaining relevant experience, this highlights the volume of skills that staff gain from working in a social environment, aiding with marketing and social media and assisting with HR,” said Anthony Pender, vice-chairman of the Perceptions Group and managing director of The Yummy Pub Company.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Pub & Bar Careers programme won the national award for the Best Industry Initiative 2014
  • The Pub & Bar Careers programme blog can be found at:
  • Follow Pub & Bar Careers on Twitter @Pubnbarcareers.
  • Keep up to date with Pub & Bar Careers on Facebook at
  • The survey was completed by 200 young people that work in the industry.

For further information: Steph Croucher (E) (T) 020 8605 3544

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