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4th September 2020

Albert comes out of lockdown – Stonegate’s Award-Winning Training Programme Kick-Offs

Stonegate Pub Company’s multi-award-winning training programme, Albert’s Theory of Progression (ATOP), has reignited this month, opening its courses to over 800+ delegates-in-waiting, with much of the learning going virtual.

After lockdown forced the cancellation of more than sixty workshops, Stonegate’s Learning and Development team began redesigning many of the training programmes to facilitate online learning, ensuring that Stonegate employees can continue their growth within the company despite the on-going legacy of social distancing.

ATOP has been rebuilt as a truly blended pathway with virtual classrooms, videos, on job, online, one-to-one coaching, as well as face-to-face workshops, which the Learning and Development team hope can recommence in November. The career pathway will continue to embrace the new learning practices adopted during lockdown, with shared online whiteboards, working in virtual groups, recording all workshops to watch again and collaborating online on tasks, such as business plans and charity events, all becoming part of the core of study.

Lee Woolley, Stonegate’s Director of Learning and Organisation Development, said: “It was important to us to relaunch the ATOP training programme as soon as possible after reopening, as we know this is one of the many things that sets Stonegate apart from other employers. It is testament to my team’s hard work and dedication that we were able to re-invite all 800+ delegates whose workshops were cancelled, to begin their training with us.

“We’ll be working hard over the coming months to meet the demand for online training with increased modules available online, across all of our programmes. The key is to encourage the same level engagement and enthusiasm online as we would in person, and the Learning and Development team has put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that.”

Stonegate reported continued engagement from existing enrolees across the programme, despite its staff being furloughed, seeing 100% engagement from its Team Leaders currently enrolled on the Accolade programme that prepares staff for Deputy Manager roles, and similar figures for Alberts Award, aimed at team members wanting to progress to Team Leaders. Stonegate also saw its apprentices on Albert’s Evolution continue their studies during lockdown, with over 200 enrolees partaking in online learning.

Due to its staff’s continued dedication to the learning programme, ATOP saw a flurry of signoffs post lockdown, as delegates could quickly finish off their last pub-based modules once they had reopened. Albert’s Award as already broken the 500 barrier this year, the highest number of signoffs in a single year to date.

Lee added: “I was delighted to see the continued participation in online learning from our teams, although I can’t say I am surprised! It is one of the hallmarks of a Stonegate employee that they are always raring to go, working on bettering themselves for personal development and for the benefit of the company as a whole.”

Stonegate has also seen a huge commitment to outside learning and upskilling through Academy Online where it launched Stonegate Community at the beginning of lockdown. The Learning and Development team used the platform to share a wealth of information, including articles on health and wellbeing, independent advice on budgeting and finances, free courses, and regular updates from CEO, Simon Longbottom, which have all seen positive uptake across the board.

– Ends –


About Stonegate Pub Company

Following the acquisition of Ei Group on 3rd March 2020 for £1.27bn, Stonegate Pub Company is the largest pub company in the UK.  Its portfolio is comprised of 1270 sites within the managed division and 3457 leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs 17,000 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Walkabout, Be At One and Venues. Traditional (unbranded) pubs is made up of: Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, Classic Inns, Common Room, Craft Union and Bermondsey Pub Group.