When Glen Duckett took over the Eagle & Child in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, three years ago, the primary purpose wasn't to turn it into a profitable pub, but to help youngsters in the local area into employment.

"The reason I set up the business was to create jobs for young unemployed people from disadvantaged backgrounds such as offenders, young parents and people with disabilities or those battling addiction," he explains.

Despite never having run a pub before, Glen had a background of working with youth unemployment and took over the Thwaites pub to create social enterprise EAT Pennines which aims to train and employ local young people.

"Youth unemployment is a real problem, and I just wanted to help these kids get in," explains Glen. "We mostly employ 16 to 25 year-olds, and the main reason for doing it is to help give them a chance."

According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), there are currently 868,000 unemployed people aged between 16 and 24, however the figures have dropped from 20.9 per cent unemployed youngsters a year ago to 17.8 per cent today. It is a reduction in which the pub trade has played a significant part.

Recent figures from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) employment survey shows that there has been a significant uplift in the proportion of companies offering apprenticeships, from 39 per cent to 67 per cent over the last year.

It also shows an increase in wages and a 43 per cent growth in the amount invested in training per employee.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls says: "Licensed hospitality is one of the biggest providers of apprenticeships in the UK and our businesses are ready and willing to offer opportunities if and when they are able."

Glen works closely alongside referral agents who set him in contact with these young people, and from there they can move on to become part of the training scheme which has to date had 24 people pass through.

Currently, the scheme has had an 80 per cent progression rate, and Glen explains that he stays in touch with most of the people who go on to work for other companies after finishing their apprenticeships.

"The great thing about working in a pub is that all the positions are entry level," he says. "From there, we help get them into training and apprenticeships and some of them go on to do advanced degrees in hospitality."

He explains it's important that his employees are taught to a good standard, so that they set themselves apart from other applicants when going forward for jobs in hospitality.

"It takes more time to work this way," he adds, "because the employees need additional support, they have baggage and it can be hard when you have to deal with their social problems as well. But it's worth it."

The pub is also a popular destination for food with its Incredible Edible Beer Garden where it plays home to 22 chickens and grows everything from courgettes, tomatoes and pumpkins to blackcurrants and kale.

The allotment is part of a wider scheme titled Incredible Edible Ramsbottom which is a community group promoting sustainability by growing local food.

"Our Incredible Edible Beer Garden is where we grow our own fruit and veg as part of a wider community scheme, and that was also made to create more jobs," explains Glen.

With the help from a local gardener, who is also part of the employment scheme, Glen was able to set up the edible beer garden where customers can enjoy their food and drinks on a nice day.

"We had an acre of unused land when I took over the pub, and it was always part of our business plan to be able to grow our own vegetables," says Glen.

"But it was also important to educate people on where their food comes from and being an advocate for sustainability."

And the community spirit doesn't stop there. The Eagle & Child is also a meeting place for voluntary groups and meetings on anything from fracking to anaerobic digestion.

It also collaborates with social businesses for many of its services, including a local card payment provider titled Ethecol, and the Phone Co-op.

"I think it's just my background of horticulture and education that's been the real drive for all of these projects," adds Glen. "But it does get hectic sometimes."

Quarterly unemployment figures from IPPR

868,000 16-24-year-olds are out of work

Number of unemployed young people fell by 102,000 to 767,000 in June

Young unemployment rate has fallen from 20.9 per cent a year ago to 17.8 per cent today

700,000 young people have never had a job