360° visibility for induction and online learning with Shepherd Neame

Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, has launched a new online induction programme. The bespoke induction package has been designed with Upskill People and rolled out to staff across the brewer’s 52 managed houses.


Each new employee completes a suite of modules relevant to their role. They are given a presentation with information on the module topic, then asked to complete multiple choice questions to confirm their knowledge. To pass, they have to get 100% of the questions right within three attempts. The online training works on all devices, so it is easily accessible, and each module only takes around 15 to 30 minutes to complete.

Angela Barlow, Shepherd Neame Head of Training, worked with Upskill People on the design and implementation of the new induction training. She says, “New staff previously had to fill in a 76-page ring bound induction book, which would be checked by their manager, with personnel records kept at each individual site.

“This new online system cuts down on the time managers have to spend on inductions, and allows us to keep track of the progress of every member of staff remotely. For the first time, we have 360˚ visibility of our training, making it easier to plan individual and business training needs.”

Shepherd Neame will now be working with Upskill People over the next 12 months to develop bespoke courses to cover other technical skills.

Case study – Royal Wells Hotel
Screen-Shot-2015-05-27-at-11.48.28Online training was used for the first time as an integrated part of Shepherd Neame’s pre-development training at the Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, which reopened in May 2015 following a £2.4 million makeover. As a result of the revamp, the hotel took on 20 new staff, who all completed their induction using the new online training. The other employees in the 55-strong team also completed individually tailored suites of modules.

Angela says, “It was fantastic, particularly for the new staff as their training could start before they even walked into the hotel. As soon as they were hired, they were able to log in to the site and complete two courses, so they could find out more about Shepherd Neame and their role before they started. The hotel was closed during the refurbishment work, so we held some training days and made laptops available for use. As a result, 75% of new starters had completed their induction before we even opened the hotel doors.”

Allergen training led to further move online

Last year Shepherd Neame used Upskill People’s online allergen training course. The success of this one-off training module led directly to a further move online for training courses.

Angela Barlow says, “We needed to ensure all our staff were compliant with a law change in relation to allergens, and decided to try e-learning before the legislation came into force in December 2014. It proved successful, and demonstrated a willingness to embrace the new technology, so we decided to expand our use of it.”

Future plans for online learning

Nigel Bunting, director of retail and tenanted operations, said: “We are very excited about this new method of training, which is time-saving, efficient and cost effective. It is great to see its success at the Royal Wells, and it looks set to be a valuable tool across our estate.”

For more information on how we can help onboard and induct your new employee’s contact:

E: emma@upskillpeople.com or call 08707 669433.