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The lockdown experience: The Star Inn, Liverton

The Pandemic has been a tough time for many of the businesses Swatpro Academy works with.

But despite the hardship, we’ve been thrilled with their resilience – not least their continued commitment to training their staff to the highest levels.

We spoke to Louise Standing, publican of the Star Inn at Liverton, near Newton Abbot.

The pub, on the edge of Dartmoor, is a great place for a pint or a meal, and it has been working with Swatpro Academy’s Jen Scott, who helps train and assess their apprentice

Swatpro Academy: Hi Louise! Are you back open fully? How is business, post-lockdown?

LS: “We have been open outside since 12th April, and also indoors from 17th May. We have had extremely busy periods - even with wet and cold weather!”

Swatpro Academy: How have you found adapting to Covid regulations?

LS: “To work covid-secure we have had to implement a lot of new methods. This has increased the workload, and the time it takes for service to get to our customers.”

Swatpro Academy: What about staffing? Are you back to 2019 levels?

LS: “No. We are not fully staffed yet, and only have a few part-time members, although we have been looking for new recruits since March!”

Swatpro Academy: Sounds like an opportunity for anyone looking for work in the Newton Abbot area! How many people are you looking for and what does your existing apprentice do?

LS: “We hope to take on another three apprentices. Our apprentice is a production chef, working in our kitchen.”

Swatpro Academy: What’s the best thing about taking on apprentices in your view?

LS: “It’s great to be able to invest in someone who wants to do the job. Staff feel good that they have the qualification and are able to work independently and with confidence in their own ability. This will show in their work as a positively outgoing manner. It allows us to include them as part of a solid team which we have invested in growing.”

Swatpro: And finally, how has Swatpro helped you in the last year or so?

LS: “Very much. Jen has been supportive and always has ideas and a positive approach to make working and training easier.”

The lockdown experience: The Star Inn, Liverton