Have you considered a career in the pub industry?

When most people think of pub jobs, they will inevitably picture themselves behind the bar pouring pints and dispensing pork scratchings to tipsy customers.

But while working behind the bar can be a part of a career in the pub and bar industry, the sector also offers employees a range of opportunities and the chance of progression to positions many job seekers may not have considered possible.

For example, large pub chains require personnel across a whole range of positions, including PR, marketing, purchasing and HR, while you could even find yourself managing your own pub.

Now, a new scheme is being launched designed to help highlight the many opportunities on offer to young job seekers in the pub sector and give them some vital experience of working in the industry.

The Perceptions Group – a collection of industry executives who aim to improve the reputation of the British pub sector as a place to work – has teamed up with the Hospitality Guild to create 15,000 pub work placements for young people.

Running throughout 2013/14, these work placements will equip young people with foundation level qualifications and prepare them for entry into employment in the pub sector.

"The industry offers a huge amount of career opportunities" said Keith Knowles, chief executive of Beds and Bars and head of the Perceptions Group.

"It is often by accident that young people realise there is a fantastic career to be had in this dynamic, innovative industry. With a million young people unemployed we are well placed to be part of the solution in offering not only jobs, but also long-term careers."

Over the two-week placement candidates will receive a variety of on-line and practical training, covering modules such as an introduction to the industry, team working, customer service, sales training, food service and health and safety

They will receive training on communication and influencing, making the right first impression and dealing with difficult situations.

Each candidate will be awarded with three qualifications upon completing the placement:  Health & Safety, Food Safety and Customer Service. 

These qualifications underpin the foundation level requirements for an apprenticeship which can continue to a Level 2 stage upon agreement with an employer.

Suzanne Jackson, executive director of the Hospitality Guild believes the pub and bar industry, through the work placement scheme, has an important role to play in tackling youth unemployment in the UK.

"The guild recognises the importance pubs and bars play in both entry level career opportunities as well as continuing professional development," she said.

"This initiative aims to enable operators, big and small, to engage with thousands of unemployed young people who will have been through a pre-employment programme and will be work ready."

However, with it projected that the industry will need to recruit over 100,000 people over the next five years, employers could also benefit from the scheme as it will provide them with a pipeline to young workers who already have some basic training in pub and bar work.

"It is crucial that we attract people with the passion to learn and progress and to add to the dynamism of the pub and bar sector", said Mr Knowles.

"Which it is why it is crucial that the industry unites to give young people the chance to make an informed choice to join us – for them to see we do have structured training, great career opportunities, good pay and benefits and above all, have a heap of fun. 

He added: "It's a two weeks commitment – time enough to change the world for somebody."

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find pub vacancies