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Recognising the value of service

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Recognising the value of service
Article date: 08 Apr 2013

With almost 30,000 staff members now working in Wetherspoon’s pubs across the UK, the company continues to grow, opening more outlets and recruiting more people for those new pubs.

Successful applicants come from all backgrounds and walks of life. However, there has been particular recruitment success from one specific group of people – ex-forces personnel.

Each year, around 20,000 personnel leave the armed forces, with good transferable skills. Since 2008, Wetherspoon has been in partnership with Herron House Training (HHT), a company offering resettlement training for service-leavers.

People leaving the forces complete their training with HHT, as well as a two-week work placement in a Wetherspoon pub. On completion of the course, applicants are guaranteed an interview with an area manager, to apply for the position of shift or
kitchen manager.

Ex. Pte. Steve Saxton, former Duke of Lancaster’s Royal Regiment and now shift manager at The Henry Bessemer, in Workington, said: “I was medically discharged from the army and, after recovery, completed my resettlement course and work placement at The Eric Bartholomew, in Morecambe.

“I loved every minute of it, but thought, because of my medical history and 22 years just as a private in the army, that it wouldn’t happen for me.

It has, which just goes to prove that rank and disability are no barriers to success at Wetherspoon.”

Ex. Leading Steward Neil Whitworth, now shift manager at The Free Man, in Carlton, said: “After 21 years in the royal navy, I already had many of the skills required for work within the hospitality sector.

“After the course and secondment at The Green Ayre, Lancaster, I attended an interview and, a week later, received the phone call to say that I was hired.

I’m enjoying moving up through the ranks at Wetherspoon, at a faster pace than I did in the navy.”

Ex. Leading Hand Karl Parish, formerly of Faslane Naval Base, Scotland, and now shift leader at The Star, in Gosport, said: “It was definitely the right career decision for me, as Wetherspoon provides great support for its staff.

“You have the knowledge that you are working for a company on the up-and-up, constantly opening new pubs and hotels and providing all managers with great
promotional opportunities.”

Laura Purvis, Wetherspoon’s recruitment manager, said: “We encourage recruitment of ex-service personnel and actively promote employment opportunities at Wetherspoon to people leaving the forces.

“These people have good transferable skills – and we have employed many successful managers, since our partnership with HHT began five years ago.

“The biggest success story to date is Ex. Marine Larry Brammall who joined us in February 2010 as a shift manager and, just three years later, is now a fully fledged pub manager, running his very own pub, The Maidenhead Inn, in Basingstoke.”

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