Career file: David Hawbrook

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month David Hawbrook, 39, group development manager at Wolverhampton &
Dudley Breweries, talks about the variety in his job. He has just won the
trainer of the year award from the British Institute of Innkeeping

long have you been in this job?
Eighteen months, but 10 years with Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries.

does your role involve?
A varied role, incorporating recruitment and training. While my main
responsibilities are the development of people in the retail concept side of
our business (Tavern Table, Varsity, TP Woods, Merchant Stores and Poacher’s
Pockets), I am also heavily involved in organising and delivering training for
managers throughout the entire retail business.

is your current major strategic push?
The majority of my time is currently split between two key priorities. The
first is our Acorn College Assistant Management Development Programme, which is
designed to create, from within, our managers of tomorrow. The second priority is
that of our Tavern Table food concept, launched just before Christmas. The goal
is to deliver to guests great service, to a standard above that traditionally
given by branded food operations. This requires exceptional training and a
culture of team work to create committed employees.

is your preferred terminology? 
Development – that’s what people are doing, developing their skills,
attitude, knowledge and behaviour.

I’m not really a buzzword person, but do quite like “Quality through

loathed buzzwords
I hate it when people use abbreviations, its just being lazy and often
confuses – what’s wrong with saying the words in full?

you good at self-development?
Yes, I really enjoy gaining new skills and knowledge, however only in what
I want. I am quite resistant to learning things that others want or force me to
– so in true learning cycle manner I must be motivated to start!

self-development have you done in the past six months?
I am currently doing a postgraduate CIPD Diploma at Nottingham Trent
University. Last year I also became a licenced tutor for the Stonebow CTA and
GTT courses.

was the most useful course you ever went on or learning experience you ever
Being trained one-to-one on how to sell ideas and negotiate with people –
it works.

was the worst course you ever went on?
It’s got to be Health and Safety – it may be a dull subject, but I believe
it can be made interesting.

did you want to make a living when you were at school?
Doing what I am doing now.

was your first job?
Working behind a bar.

of your qualifications do you most value, and why?
My Hotel and Catering Management degree as it has provided the foundations
for everything else.

was the best career decision you ever made?
Specialising in training and development.

was the worst?
In a way I haven’t made one. Even if I take the worst job I ever had, which
was being involved with hotels, my boss inadvertently taught me a lot – how not
to treat people!

do you want to be in five years’ time?
In a senior position where I am respected for making serious contributions
to the quality of people and the resulting service they deliver to others.

advice would you give to someone starting out in training and development?
Get some operational/line management experience and build up your
reputation in the business to which you are associated. This gives you more

do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future?
Communication, focus, determination, creativity.

do you network?
By keeping in touch with current and former colleagues.

– holy grail or impossible dream?
Holy Grail – job satisfaction comes partly from proving that development

is your motto?
“Have fun, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

your management style in three words or less
Energetic and demanding.

would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?
By being remembered and missed!

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