A total of 46 Mitchells & Butlers managers have received an innovative postgraduate qualification in the leadership of multiple units, developed in partnership with Birmingham City University.
The pub and restaurant firm behind brands including All Bar One and O'Neills saw 13 of its retail business managers (RBMs) and 33 of its retail managers graduate from its Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate in Multi-Unit Leadership & Strategy.
The students, who started the courses throughout 2009 and June 2010 respectively, graduated simultaneously from Birmingham City University on 13 February 2012.
Of these, 14 retail business manager candidates have progressed to start a masters degree in Multi-Site Leadership & Strategy, with three also having achieved internal promotion to retail director level.
The qualifications were designed after a team from Birmingham City University shadowed M&B retail business managers and met with senior M&B management to identify areas that would support the development of these important positions. The courses aim to build upon the existing knowledge of retail managers and RBMs while providing them with additional skills to make their retail businesses a greater success.
The programme cost £10,000 to develop and cost around £3,000 per candidate.
Each individual graduating has completed two years of learning, with 13 days classroom based. The course covers four modules, each taking three days to complete and culminating with a 5,000-word study, with topics including brand-cycle analysis, segment economics and service leadership, among others.
Liz Phillips, director of HR and organisational development at Mitchells & Butlers, said: "Mitchells & Butlers was the first pub company in the UK to identify the need for this type of qualification for its retail business managers and retail managers. At that time multi-unit leadership was not well understood, but just two years on we have seen the course come to fruition and it is now an established learning pathway within the organisation.
"The course also acts as a retention device for us - a portable qualification, making the trade more professional. All of our retail managers have seen a positive influence on overall business performance as a result of the increased confidence retail business managers have gained from the programme.
"Ultimately and most importantly, it is helping Mitchells & Butlers to run better restaurants and pubs for the benefit of our guests."
By Neil Gerrard
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