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People Conference and NITAs 2022

Yesterday, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) People Conference and National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs) saw over 300 people from across the sector come together to share and recognise innovation and best practice in people development. 

The day conference heard powerful contributions from leaders from across our industry and beyond. In addition to speakers from Greene King, New World Trading Company, Beers and Peers and KAM, guests heard from Rear Admiral Jude Terry OBE who is the first female to hold this rank. Her experience progressing through the Navy and currently heading up People and Development for over 40,000 people across the world brought new perspectives to our own people challenges. 

In the evening, the National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs) recognised the very best innovation in training, apprenticeships, and wellbeing programmes alongside outstanding individuals in people development. One of the highlights of the evening was the BII’s brand new category - Hospitality Apprentice of the Year with all finalists being real ambassadors for the future of the sector.  

The evening culminated in the presentation of the Franca Knowles Live Your Life Award a very special recognition for an exceptional individual who leads by example and demonstrates that people are at the core of everything they do. This industry recognition award is in memory of the late Franca Knowles, who herself was a multiple winner at the NITAs, being a leader in people development and training. Franca took huge pleasure in seeing young team members grow and thrive. She placed immense value on investing in people, recognising the benefits for both the employer, employee and the wider industry. Keith Knowles OBE, Founder and CEO of Beds and Bars, proudly presented this year’s award to Anthony Pender for his outstanding work over many years supporting the wider industry. 

Anthony Pender commented:
“I am genuinely surprised and humbled to be recognised with this fantastic accolade particularly as this award has been decided by previous winners who I deeply respect and look up to.  On a personal note the Franca Knowles award and the NITAs are all about our people and I am proud to have been involved in re-establishing the NITAs as the industry awards for recognising exceptional innovation in people development. We are all very aware of the current challenges for our sector, so to see the innovation, collaboration and sharing of ideas at the BII People Conference and NITAs makes me extremely positive about the future ahead.”

The winners on the night were:

Staff Wellbeing – Individual Site Award
Caviar and Chips – Gemma Carter-Morris

Staff Wellbeing – Company Award
Beds and Bars

HR Manager of the Year Award
Jemelle Bish – Stonegate

Training Professional of the Year Award
Natalya Watson – Beer with Nat

Best Training Programme: Apprenticeships Award

Best Training Programme: Individual Operator
Tollemache Arms – Joe Buckley

Best Training Programme: Managed under 50

Best Training Programme: Managed over 50
Star Pubs and Bars

Hospitality Apprentice of the Year – Company Award
Natalija Folmer – Brewhouse and Kitchen

Hospitality Apprentice of the Year – Individual Site Award
Grace Bailey-Williams – The New Inn

Franca Knowles Live Your Life Award
Anthony Pender

A full set of photographs from the day and the evening can be found on the following links:
People Conference
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