Training at the bar

As the Swanswell Inn opens for business on a Monday morning in Birmingham, it becomes obvious that this is no ordinary pub. The mobile mock-up has been created as a training facility for businesses to understand how alcohol and drugs can affect people in the workplace, and how they can tackle problems effectively. 

‘Recent statistics suggest that work stress is now the biggest factor driving people in Britain to alcohol and drugs,’ says Swanswell’s talent development manager, Sharon Smyth. ‘Just over half of adults polled by charity Mind said they drank after work, with one in seven admitting to drinking in the day, so it’s not surprising that sickness absence caused by alcohol misuse is costing UK businesses around £6.4bn a year.’

The charity’s training gives anyone with a responsibility for workforce welfare an opportunity to learn skills and ask questions so they can apply their knowledge to real life situations.

‘Employers often have problems identifying potential substance misuse and knowing how to support team members affected by it,’ says Smyth. ‘Initial conversations can be tough to start, so it’s important such situations are approached sensitively and backed up with facts.’