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4th May 2021

Stonegate launches Head Office career pathway

Stonegate Group has announced the launch of its new in-house training pathway this week, Albert’s Interesting Map to Success, AIMS. The pathway has been designed for the company’s head office support staff and is available across all roles – amounting to over 600 different specific learning pathways and spanning from Level 2, all the way to Level 7 (Masters Level). AIMS hopes to engage over 1000 support staff, across both the managed and lease and tenanted divisions, once established.

The pathway has been designed to include both online and in-person learning to reflect the changes of the last 13 months, allowing delegates access to all course material to study in their own time, but without losing the invaluable components of face-to-face learning.

Although not officially a part of Stonegate’s multi-award winning Albert’s Theory of Progression, the new pathway does nod to the company’s front-of-house programme, both in its name, AIMS (Albert’s Interesting Map to Success) and in the naming of its learning areas, all of which are named after Stonegate pubs. The ‘map to success’ is in effect a pub crawl, kicking off at the College Arms for Qualification Lead Learning, before stopping at the Churchill Inn, for Leadership Framework, The Discovery, for Internal Development, and finishing off at The Graduate, which houses the Senior Leadership Development Programme. The framework also includes the ‘Oasis’, which is an online space where delegates can access materials surrounding Wellbeing and Mental Health.

The programme was launched internally this week via CEO Simon Longbottom’s weekly podcast and Stonegate’s internal Facebook group, ‘You are Not on Mute’, both of which have been integral in maintaining engagement with furloughed staff during the pandemic.

Lee Woolley, Director of Learning & Organisation Development, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for us launching Albert’s Interesting Map to Success. It has been nine years since we launched Albert’s Theory of Progression, which has gone from strength to strength during that time, and nearly four years since we launched the back of house component, Albert’s Evolution, for our kitchen teams, which has been equally successful. I’m delighted that we now have this extraordinary addition for our support staff ensuring everyone in the Stonegate Group business has access to training that is specific to their role.

“This is all part of our ‘Bar to Boardroom’ philosophy where we hope to grow, encourage and enable our own talent to be the future leaders of both our company and of the wider hospitality industry. It has been quite a year, but at Stonegate we are dedicated to the success of our people and the launch of this new pathway shows our commitment to rebuilding over the next 12 months and beyond.”


Editor’s notes: 

About Stonegate Group

Following the acquisition of Ei Group on 3rd March 2020 for £1.27bn, Stonegate Group is the largest pub company in the UK.  Its portfolio is comprised of 1,270 sites within the managed division and 3,200 leased and tenanted businesses.

The managed pubs division, which employs 13,500 people, is split into Branded and Traditional pubs. Branded is comprised of: Slug & Lettuce, Walkabout, Be At One and Venues. Traditional (unbranded) pubs are made up of: Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, Classic Inns, Common Room and Craft Union.


  • MCA Retailers’ Retailer Awards – The Hero Award (Suzanne Baker)


  • Great British Pub Awards – Feeding the Community, Community Mindfulness & Ei Publican Partnerships Pub of the Year
  • REBA Employee Wellbeing Awards – Best New Wellbeing Strategy (5000+ staff)
  • Publican Awards – Best Pub Employer (501+ employees)
  • Publican Awards – Best Community Operator (Craft Union Pub Company)


  • BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs): HR Manager of the Year – Lee Woolley
  • CGA Insight Hero and Icon Awards (two awards): Icon Award – Ian Payne MBE, Business Leader, Simon Longbottom
  • UK Hospitality’s Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards (two awards) – Icon Award (Ian Payne MBE), Best Marketing and Promotions Award
  • Great British Pub Awards – Best LGBTQ+ Pub
  • BII Scotland Awards – Best Operator for Training
  • Retailers’ Retailer of the Year (two awards): Lifetime Achievement Award – Ian Payne MBE, Investor of the Year – TDR Capital
  • Menu Innovation & Development Awards (MIDAS) (two awards): Best Menu – Premium High Street Pub: Slug & Lettuce; Best Menu – Town & City Pub: Walkabout
  • Publican Awards (five awards): Best Community Pub Operator, Best Pub Employer (501+ employees), Best Managed Pub Company (51+ sites), Best Drinks Offer, Business Leader of the Year – Chief Executive, Simon Longbottom


  • British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) – Chairman’s Award
  • UK Hospitality’s Dusk ‘til Dawn Late Night Awards: Best Service & Team
  • Licensed Trade Charity: Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award
  • Great British Pub Awards (two awards): Best LGBTQ+ and Best Sports Pub
  • APPBG PUBAID Corporate Charity Fundraiser Award 
  • Publican Awards: Best Late Night Operator


  • Great British Pub Awards (three awards): Best Pub Garden, Best Entertainment and Best Sports Pub
  • Publican Awards (two awards): Best Managed Pub Company; Best Late Night Operator, plus highly commended – Best Employer 501+ employees
  • Menu Innovation and Development Award (MIDAS): Premium High Street Pub – Town Pub & Kitchen
  • Retailers’ Retailer Award: Investor of the Year – TDR Capital


  • BII National Industry Training Awards (NITAs) (two awards): Best Managed Company for Training; Lifetime Achievement Award for Chairman, Ian Payne
  • Great British Pub Awards: Best Sports Pub
  • Scottish Training Federation: Best Large Employer
  • HR Excellence Awards: Best Learning and Development Strategy
  • HR Distinction Awards: Innovation for Digital & Social Media


  • HR Distinction Awards: People Development


  • HR Distinction: Innovative Use of Technology
  • Publican Awards: Business Leader of the Year, Chairman Ian Payne
  • Menu Innovation and Development Award (MIDAS): Best New Concept Missoula, Montana Bar & Grill


  • Publican Award – Best Pub Employer 51+ sites
  • Menu Innovation and Development Award (MIDAS): City and Bar Dining – Slug and Lettuce