It runs thousands of managed pubs, and "pub restaurants" across England, Scotland and Wales, belonging to several well-known chains, including All Bar One, O'Neill's and Harvester. It began in 1898 when two Midlands family brewery businesses joined forces to create Mitchells and Butlers.

The business grew gradually during the 20th century through acquisitions and mergers, the most notable with Bass in 1961. This led to growth into hotels and international operations, and a name change, to Six Continents. That came to an end in 2003 when Bass left, leaving Mitchells and Butlers (MAB) to reclaim its name and return to its domestic business.

Vital statistics:

Two thousand pub and restaurant outlets are staffed by 37,000 MAB employees.

The office:

Head office is in central Birmingham, and you can find where your nearest MAB pub is by typing your postcode into the company website, at www.mbplc.com

Is this you?

Every year, 60 graduates are taken on, from an applicant pool numbering 1,500. A degree, HND or equivalent is required and any experience working in a pub, restaurant or the retail sector is a distinct advantage. Clearly, you'll also need the flair and personality to work behind a bar, plus leadership skills and what are called business building ideas.

A handful of graduates are also taken on to MAB's corporate graduate scheme, a fast track to senior positions with the company.

The recruitment process:

Online application, telephone interview, and then, for some, a trip to an MAB assessment centre, where, after tests and group exercises, you'll be asked to write a business plan for an MAB pub: something for you to mull over on a quiet night in the student bar!

If accepted, you'll start as an assistant manager at an MAB pub and receive on-the-job training. You'll go on management courses and work towards getting the national qualification for a pub licensee. Back at work, after a few months you'll be managing the staff shift rota, and learning how to make profits.

Top dollar?

Starting pay varies quite widely, between about £14,000 and £17,000, depending on location and size of your first pub, and your own experience.

Beam me up Scotty?

If your training goes well, within a few years you could assume the role of retail manager, running a million pound business and managing a team of up to 50 staff.

Who's the boss?

The chief executive since 2003, Tim Clarke, held the same job in the Six Continents business, and is a past chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association.

Little known fact:

If you're not long out of your teens, this might come as a surprise, but All Bar One is a relatively new kid on the high street. The first one appeared as recently as 1994.

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