An encouraging budget with plenty of training opportunities

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Written by Jeremy Scorer on 9 April 2014
The recent spring budget statement was an extremely encouraging one for both the licensed hospitality industry and for the skills and training sector, and presents a number of exciting opportunities for operators over the coming year.
From a business perspective the news that The Chancellor of the Exchequer is abolishing the wildly unpopular Beer Tax Escalator and slashing beer duty by 1p will be of great relief to operators up and down the country who have been struggling over the last few years as the recession bit deeper.
Having owned and operated a number of pubs before I moved into the skills and training sector, I am aware of the daily challenges that publicans face. This government has indicated that it values the British brewing and licensed hospitality sector, highlighting through their support the important socio-economic function that pubs and bars play across the country. 
The hard work of associations such as BII, BBPA, CAMRA and the APPG for Beer to ensure that this issue was squarely on the agenda for the 2014 spring statement, should certainly be acknowledged. It is through organisations like these that the licensed sector is in a position to be real game-changers when it comes to influencing industry-specific legislation. I look forward to seeing the industry join together over the coming year to build on what has already been achieved.
It’s great so many MPs supported the campaign which brought these issues to the budget agenda (over 100) proves that policy affecting pubs and brewing are important to local communities, and as such real vote winners.
From a skills and training perspective, The Chancellor made a significant statement in which he pledged extra funding for 100,000 apprentices for Small businesses. Independent operators and small pub companies should see this as the perfect opportunity to establish a skills and training programme which will help up-skill their workforce, add value to their business and drive sales. 
Apprenticeship programmes are a fantastic way to integrate a potential candidate into a company and can aid a person’s career development greatly, especially in the hospitality sector, where progression from barperson to assistant manager is a quick transition. 
Higher levels staff retention can be achieved through constructive and practical workplace training. Employers should be using this welcome opportunity from the Spring budget to explore every opportunity to provide this invaluable resource for their staff. 
There are definitely a lot of positives in this budget, the challenge now for the licensed hospitality industry will be to build on these foundations to strengthen the sector and to seize the opportunities that the UK government has opened up.
About the author
Jeremy Scorer is a managing partner at Charnwood Training. He can be contacted via

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