Tuesday, March 26

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA chats to Ontrade Progress

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Recently, I was lucky enough to visit The Cardigan Arms in Leeds with Rachel Reeves MP. This fantastic community pub reminded me of the importance of the pub in our social fabric. The pub was that classic mix of regulars at the bar catching up on the week’s events and visitors soaking up a traditional pub atmosphere and sampling Great Britain’s greatest drink – fresh beer straight from the pump, brewed by Kirkstall brewery.

The pub is the cornerstone of the community, where new people meet, where families congregate and where regulars become friends. But we often miss out a key aspect of how pubs have become the cornerstones of our communities – the staff behind the bar. Bar staff and landlords define a pub, they create an atmosphere that cannot be replicated in any other hospitality business around the world. It is, however, very difficult for pubs to recruit and retain staff when we have almost full employment and fewer coming from abroad with all the uncertainties of the UK leaving the EU.

The industry needs to do more to promote the merits of working in a pub, as there is much more to working in a pub than simply pulling pints. That is why the BBPA are fully supporting this year’s Hospitality Works campaign which will be promoting hospitality as a sector where jobseekers can find a successful career. The BBPA are also working closely with the Government to finalise a Tourism Sector Deal which at its heart will be skills and will go even further in promoting the pub as a fantastic place to work.

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