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NITAs Press Release

The BII’s National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs), recognising excellence in people development of teams and individuals from across the hospitality sector, were celebrated yesterday evening in front of a packed house at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City.
The NITAs followed the BII People Conference during the day where guests heard from leading thinkers from across the sector on attracting & retaining talent, creating truly inclusive spaces and creating nurturing environment for teams.  CEO Steve Alton also announced the launch of a brand-new membership offer for team members, Workforce, in early 2024. Collaborating with key industry partners, Workforce will support those starting and developing their careers in hospitality with training, mentoring, development resources and inspiration from across the sector.
This year saw the introduction of three new awards, the Best Training Programmes for Sustainability and Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, and the Best Recruitment Strategy.
Winners on the evening were:
Best Training Programme: Apprenticeships - Brewhouse & Kitchen
Training Professional of the Year - Sze Rasak, Fuller’s
Best Training Programme: Leased & Tenanted - Marston’s
Best Training Programme: Managed Over 50 - Brunning & Price
Best Training Programme: Managed Under 50 - Oakman Inns
Best Training Programme: Individual Operator - Ollie Coulombeau, The Turk’s Head
Best Recruitment Strategy - Star Pubs & Bars
Team Wellbeing Award - Brunning & Price
Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity Award - ABinBev
Best Training Programme: Sustainability - Marston’s
Hospitality Apprentice of the Year - Harry Widgery, Wykeham Arms

The awards culminated in the very special Franca Knowles Live your Life Award, presented by Keith Knowles OBE CBII, CEO of Beds and Bars. Decided by a panel of previous winners, this year the award went to Executive Chair of HIT Training, Jill Whittaker.  Jill has been a long-term passionate advocate of hospitality and how professional development can power careers.  She was also awarded an OBE by the King earlier this year recognising her contribution to the sector.

Huge congratulations to all of the finalists and winners, all doing incredible things in the recruitment, training and development of their teams.
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