The Green Ayre, Lancaster, has teamed up with Herron House Licensed Retail Training – the preferred supplier of hospitality management training to the MOD for those serving members of HM Forces who, when they leave the service, wish to embark on a pub management career. Like Wetherspoon, Herron House holds several national awards, Herron’s being for resettlement training.
The training is usually undertaken in the last few months of service and involves a four-week residential programme, including a two-week work experience placement, seconded to a professional pub operation. The Green Ayre is the first Wetherspoon pub to take part in this programme, following a meeting with the course director, Alan Herron, and members of the recruitment and training team at head office.
Laura Purvis, who has been co-ordinating this ‘pilot,’ said: “This has been a great success for all concerned. Indeed, we already have several top-performing managers working for us, from a military background – and most of those took Alan’s course several years ago, so we were very keen to get involved.”
The pub’s manager, Jill Holllingsworth, said: “‘Arty’ and Leighan have been a pleasure to teach, with both of them having worked extremely hard, while with us, getting stuck in with those working alongside them – manager or associate.”
Team leader Stuart Smith was singled out for praise by Arty, himself a naval instructor, who added: “Young Stuart has a natural aptitude for training and was really enthusiastic about his job and showed us so much about the ‘inner workings’ of a busy pub and making time for us, without detriment to the business.
“We were also able to meet the area manager, Jeremy Hinde, who told us even more about the benefits of a Wetherspoon career. Leighan and I will be out of the navy early next year and look forward to joining the company in the southwest area. We would like to say a big thankyou to Herron House, for choosing us as its guinea pigs and a very special thankyou to Wetherspoon… or, as they say in the movies – we’ll be back!”
Stuart Smith said: “I really enjoyed being a part of this, as it added a new dimension to my job and, hopefully, will look good on my CV and maybe a promotion to shift manager.