Ilkley Brewery – Investing in expansion, investing in people
The new investment in independent Yorkshire brewer Ilkley Brewery by Half Full Beer Company at the end of July 2015, is showing immediate progress. The Half Full vision was to improve conditions and standards, and to increase production capacity.
Investment in the team is integral to the vision, and one of the immediate steps made was to register as a Living Wage Employer, and increase the rates of pay across the board.
The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Ilkley Brewery, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors; receive a minimum hourly wage of £7.85 – significantly higher than the national minimum wage of £6.50. The commitment will continue into 2016 with a rise to £8.25.
The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social about what people need to make ends meet.
Luke Raven, Co-Director at Ilkley Brewery said: “We are proud to be raising our voice amongst a growing number of businesses across the UK who support their staff by paying the Living Wage.
“Our beer is made by people, by hand, and we rely on their passion and commitment. By recognising their hard work in this way, we hope to be able to foster a greater sense of shared ownership in the long term project here at Ilkley Brewery.”
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Living Wage Foundation Director, Rhys Moore said: “We are delighted to welcome Ilkley Brewery to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer.
“The best employers are voluntarily signing up to pay the Living Wage now. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay.
“We have accredited over 1,700 leading employers, including Ilkley Brewery, ranging from independent printers, hairdressers and breweries, to well-known companies such as Nationwide, Aviva and SSE. These businesses recognise that clinging to the national minimum wage is not good for business. Customers expect better than that. ”
Ilkley Brewery has also committed to a programme of job creation, with a 60% increase in headcount by the end of 2015. This is in recognition of the work that lies ahead as part of the plans for expansion. As part of creating new positions, the brewery is embarking on a training scheme to enable existing employees to expand their knowledge, qualification and industry experience. The first person to benefit from this is Adam Scroggins, who is progressing from a Brewery Operative to become Assistant Brewer.
Speaking of the growth plans, Luke Raven says: “As well as our ongoing commitment to the local community and to our employees, which are the building blocks for solid business, we are looking to capitalise on the current interest and energy within the beer sector.
“We have already invested over £140,000 in the infrastructure at Ilkley Brewery since August this year, including taking on an additional storage facility, and with additional expansion in the pipeline. I think this emphasises our commitment to grow Ilkley Brewery into one of the top independent breweries in the UK.”