BII crowns NITAs award winners

The BII has awarded industry accolades to the winners of its National Innovation in Training Awards.

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has awarded industry accolades to the winners of its National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs).

As part of an event which, in the day, saw over 300 people from across the sector come together to share and recognise innovation and best practice in people development, the awards acknowledged on-trade businesses, as well as inspiring individuals. 

One of the highlights of the evening was the BII’s brand new category, Hospitality Apprentice of the Year, with all finalists being ambassadors for the future of the sector. 

Following the awards ceremony (full list of winners below), the evening culminated in the presentation of the Franca Knowles Live Your Life Award, which recognises an exceptional individual who leads by example and demonstrates that people are at the core of everything they do. It went to Yummy Pubs co-founder and former BII chairman Anthony Pender (pictured above with BII CEO Steve Alton and Keith Knowles from Beds and Bars) for his work over many years supporting the wider industry.

“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," says Pender. "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 & 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

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