Following the success at outlets in Hertfordshire, area manager James Hardman’s pubs in Hampshire and Surrey are also benefiting from the work experience scheme.
Supporting the government’s ‘Get Britain Working’ initiative, Jobcentre Plus asks local businesses to offer unemployed young people work experience. For some, it is their first taste of the work place.
The Jack Phillips, in Godalming, and The Swan Inn, in Haslemere, have both enjoyed success, with a total of approximately a dozen young people experiencing a work trial placement.
The pub placements last from one to two weeks, up to a maximum of four to six weeks, where young people looking to get back into employment can gain experience in a work environment, yet are still able to claim job seeker’s allowance.
James Hardman said: “The scheme has worked very well in several of our pubs, with unemployed youngsters gaining basic experience in a job role with us. In turn, it is a great way for us to show them what we are about.
“Any participant who clearly has an aptitude for the job and is keen to pursue a career with us can then be offered an available role.
“The positive experience is a two-way thing: we are able to train and identify possible employees, while the youngsters are gaining invaluable hands-on work experience, even if they don’t stay with Wetherspoon.”
One such success is at The Red Lion, where 22-year-old Staceylee Purves has worked for almost a year. Unemployed Staceylee moved south from her home city of Edinburgh and took up a work trial placement at the pub in Petersfield.
She is now a cross-trained kitchen and bar associate and has recently been promoted to team leader at the pub.
Dom Humphries, pub manager at The Red Lion, said: “We had a few people start on the work placement scheme, along with Staceylee, and the job wasn’t for all of them. However, Staceylee grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has become a key member of the team.”
Staceylee, pictured with Dom, said: “When I initially did the four-week work placement, I didn’t think that I would get a job at the end of it. I thought that it would be for the experience more than anything else.
“I am really enjoying my work at The Red Lion and am getting a lot of help with training. I have also just become a team leader and hope to progress further in the future.”