Action is being taken to give people the skills to fill jobs in the burgeoning hospitality sector in Bedfordshire.
A pilot course recently covered a variety of roles from barista to travel agent with an emphasis on customer service, team work, food hygiene and health and safety.
Training was drawn up by Central Bedfordshire Council and developed by sector skills council People 1st. The idea could be rolled out to other areas like health and social care.
Across Bedfordshire the hospitality sector is growing with Center Parcs alone needing to recruit for 1,300 jobs.
The pilot was held in partnership with Jobcentre Plus and with backing and input from employers, including Experience Bedfordshire – the Bedfordshire Tourism Partnership. It was run at Central Bedfordshire College, for up to 15 individuals who the Jobcentre recommended. The council’s work ensured local employers were aware of the course and able to offer interviews to successful students.
Central Bedfordshire Councillor Nigel Young said: “Back in 2012, we hosted a Skills Summit where we agreed that we would work to improve employability for local people, engage better with employers and look again at how we can improve applicant’s skills for the hospitality sector.
“Since then we’ve been able to put local employers in touch with training providers and work with Central Bedfordshire College, Experience Bedfordshire and People 1st to get these hospitality courses up and running. It’s a new way of working and the first cohort of students was fantastic and we’re so pleased with how it went.
“One of the most amazing things about this course is the agreement from local employers to offers interviews to any students completing the course.”