Pub group Greene King aims to ‘level up’ the UK economy by taking on 5,000 apprentices

Greene King has recently launched a new report Untapping Potential: the role of pubs in levelling up skills, jobs and communities, highlighting the crucial role that pubs play in providing fulfilling careers in local communities.

Greene King also made a number of new commitments around recruiting and training people from any background to be able to have a successful career in their local pub. This builds on their ongoing work to promote social mobility, which has included supporting over 15,000 apprentices since 2011 and 100 prison leavers through the company’s Releasing Potential programme.

The report highlights the need to improve career opportunities in local communities across the UK. Three in five young people don’t believe there are enough promising job opportunities in their local area, despite 89% of the same group being interested in a job that would allow them to stay in their community.

The report also found almost half of young people (48%) believe that hospitality only provides short term opportunities, not promising careers, highlighting a perception problem.

Greene King has announced a series of commitments to create even more local career opportunities and to help challenge these misconceptions, including:

  • Apprenticeships: adding 5,000 new apprentices across the 32 different types of apprenticeships currently available by 2025, building on the 15,000 individuals that have already completed the programme since 2011.
  •  Releasing Potential: recruiting 300 more prison leavers by 2025 in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and opening the first Greene King prison training kitchen at HMP Thameside. Greene King has already supported 100 prison leavers into employment.
  •  Chef Academy: launching a Chef Academy Programme this year, working with TV chef and presenter Joe Hurd to help train the next generation of leading chefs.
  •  Supported Internships: providing 100 new internships to those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) by 2025, adding to the 40 plus individuals the business has already supported in this programme since 2021.
  •  The Prince’s Trust: delivering on the 2020 commitment to provide the support that 1,000 young people need to help them secure a job. Since 2016, the business has helped over 500 young people into work.

Greene King will continue to build on its current programmes offering opportunities to people experiencing homelessness, veterans and refugees and providing work experience to young people across the UK.

With pubs in communities right across the country, Greene King is in a unique position to create fulfilling careers to help everyone to meet their potential, no matter where they live or what their background.

Nick Mackenzie, CEO of Greene King, commented: “Pubs have always been about people, and I’ve witnessed the way a job in a pub can completely change a person’s life and become a lifelong, successful career. That’s why I’m proud that Greene King is making these commitments to provide people from all backgrounds access meaningful, rewarding careers in their local communities. Pubs have so much to offer both for those looking for careers and those in the local community. If we are to fully capitalise on this potential, government and wider industry must pull together to promote careers in hospitality and empower businesses to offer even more training and development opportunities.”

Robert Halfon, Member of Parliament for Harlow, Chair of the Education Select Committee stated: As the Government pushes forward with its levelling up ambitions, I believe that apprenticeships have an essential role to play. Commitments from businesses, such as the additional 5,000 apprentices that Greene King has pledged to support by 2025, will be key to levelling up the country and I am proud to support the company’s Untapping Potential report and its aim to create greater opportunities for people from all backgrounds. I have always believed that apprenticeships provide an incredibly important ladder of opportunity and Greene King has helped many thousands of apprentices climb up that very ladder.”

An apprentice at Greene King is a work-based programme running alongside your employment. It’s a great way to get hands-on experience while achieving a nationally recognised qualification. As a Greene King apprentice you will:

  • Be employed from day one
  • Earn while you learn in a job you can be passionate about
  • Work alongside experienced staff
  • Receive support throughout your programme
  • Study towards a related nationally recognised qualification
  • Gain additional skills through enhanced learning opportunities
  • Enhance your career opportunities with a fast paced, successful and expanding company.


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