Stonegate Pub Company is seeing unparalleled success with its award-winning, forward-looking, ‘Bar to Boardroom’ career develop programme, Albert’s Theory of Progression (ATOP). Since its inception more than a decade ago, ATOP has gone from strength to strength and is now responsible for more than half of Stonegate’s Area Managers.

As testament to its success, Stonegate has welcomed its first Area Manager to come all the way through the scheme this week. Carl Haytree has become the first employee at Stonegate Pub Company to be appointed as Area Manager after completing of all of the company’s internal training programmes. He officially started on the job this Monday 11th November, after setting a record-breaking top score for the company’s highest-level qualification, Aspirations. He takes over 13 sites across the South West, including pubs, bars and late-night venues.

Carl started work in a pub 11 years ago as a glass collector on Saturday nights to earn some extra money ahead of the birth of his first child. Back then he just saw the job as a means to an end, taking almost five years to realise a career in the industry was for him. Crediting his manager at the time, Edwina Horan, for giving him the confidence to pursue management within the company, Carl applied to take part in the Albert’s Award course in 2013, a move that would see him successfully qualify for a Team Leader role, and he has never looked back.

Since then he has completed Albert’s Accolade, Accelerator and Aspirations, and progressed through Team Leader, Deputy Manager and General Manager roles, as well as a positions in marketing, where he oversaw the introduction on Stonegate’s student venue loyalty programme, the MORE card, and as an Area Sales Coordinator. Over the last year, while undergoing Aspirations, the programme that trains talented employees earmarked for Area Management, he was promoted to Divisional Stock Coach, before fulfilling his goal of reaching Area Manager yesterday.

Carl said: “It’s quite strange thinking back to 2013, when I was mulling over my five-year plan with Edwina, and now to be sitting here today having achieved it. So much has happened in a relatively short space of time. Now I’ve got to get back to the drawing board and think of what’s next for me!

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the people who have helped me along the way. From my Area Manager, Andy Palfreymen, who was there when I first took up a position as GM, to the guys in the Learning and Development team, who work so hard to help us achieve our goals. Stonegate’s values dictate that we lift each other up and support each other as we work to better ourselves both personally and professionally, and I’m proud to be a part of the success that that ethos brings about.”

Carl is the poster boy for everything Stonegate hopes to achieve with its Bar-to-Boardroom philosophy, that underpins the Albert’s Theory of Progression training programme. The company is seeing engagement in its training programmes increase across the board, year on year, especially since the introduction of more online learning modules and online testing has become available. Albert’s Award, the programme aimed at aspiring Team Leaders, has already seen 324 delegates attend in Q1 this year, more than double the headcount for the same period in 2018, with the numbers telling a similar story for the Deputy Manager programme, Albert’s Accolade.

The continued increase in demand for training is largely thanks to Stonegate’s Learning and Development team, who are dedicated to ensuring taking part in the internal learning is as accessible as possible. Not only are there are entry points for all levels within the company, but the learning experience has been designed to be convenient, with face-to-face learning taking place on-site with delegates’ General Managers where possible and the ability to choose the venues and dates to suit them in place, where it isn’t.