Bar manager training has been launched to cope with staff shortages following the pandemic

First-ever bar manager training is launched in Limerick to help address the shortage of hospitality staff in Ireland.

The three year course is the result of a collaboration between the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and Griffith College and is supported by Ireland’s national further education agency, Solas.

The course is offered through Griffith College in Cork, Dublin and Limerick and was launched by Minister of State for Further Education and Higher Education Niall Collins on Monday at The Old Quarter pub in Limerick city.

A survey by Failte Ireland in February found up to nine in 10 hospitality businesses were having trouble recruiting staff, with many employers attributing the shortage to a lack of training.

VFI chief executive Paul Clancy said education is critical to alleviating the problem.

“At a time when staff recruitment is being cited as the number one problem for the hospitality industry, this degree will play a critical role in retaining key personnel,” he said.

As part of the Bar Manager education, students already working in the trade can be supported by their employer to develop the wide range of skills needed to work at the highest level in the industry by completing three years spend one day a week in lectures.

School leavers with experience in the bar business and career changers are also eligible to participate.

One of the first to sign up, 23-year-old Emma Hanley – a trainee at The Old Quarter Pub in Limerick City – said she was drawn by the offer of being able to work and study at the same time.

“I’ve always loved working in a bar and the apprenticeship gave me a real insight into my chosen profession,” she says.

“The course is very well structured, so that I can deal intensively with the craft and at the same time apply and earn the practical elements. It’s a great way to learn and gain great insights.”

JJ Mulcahy, owner of The Old Quarter, which has three trainees, said the course was “a huge benefit” for retaining and developing employees.

“The concept is wonderful. This is an industry that can give you a good career, but it takes time and effort to learn,” he said.

Mary Liz Trant, interim director of the National Apprenticeship Office, described the program as exceptional and innovative.

“This training is a key example of a sought-after competency-based course that is part of this transformational agenda,” she said.

Professor Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College, said the qualification would support post-pandemic cash trading.

“We have worked closely with the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland to develop a practical and applied qualification that will enhance staff skills and competencies as the pub industry rebounds from the challenges of Covid,” he said.

Employers are entitled to a grant per registered apprentice and applications for September admission are now open on the Griffith College website. Bar manager training has been launched to cope with staff shortages following the pandemic

Fry Electronics Team

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