Extended courses to cater for area’s love of cocktails

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Candidates enrolled on our hospitality academy will have the opportunity to add cocktail making and bar tending skills to their CV.

Tees Valley’s growing night life has led to a shortage of professional bar tending skills, which our hospitality academy and Job Centre Plus plans to address. The area posted significant 10.1% growth in the number of bars and public houses between 2016 and 2018—the only major city region to post growth in the past two years.

The successful ‘Talent Tea’ and new ‘Raising the Bar ‘course offers people in Redcar and Cleveland, who are not in education, work or training, the chance to learn vital skills to begin a career in the sector. The courses cover silver service, food safety level 2, food allergens and intolerance, weights and measures, customer care and more.

The most beneficial aspect of the ‘Raising the Bar’ course is an opportunity to put their new skills into practice when they take over  local Northern Quarter business, Kenzie’s on Station Road in Redcar, where local businesses are looking forward to sampling the drinks made by the budding mixologists, network and chat with the students to offer job interviews.

Johanna Watts, Employer Engagement Officer said: “Redcar’s Northern Quarter is thriving, so this seemed the perfect location to launch our ‘Raising the Bar’ course supporting local businesses and the hospitality sector. In Redcar and Cleveland alone around 350 people worked in the hospitality sector in 2018 and this is predicted to grow considerably.

“Bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs need to offer customers excellent customer service and accomplished staff to stand out in a crowded market. Our students already learn a wide range of skills, but feedback has led us to include bar tending and cocktail making within the course.

As with many industries, food and drink service is constantly evolving and we need to ensure our academy develops to reflect this.”

Our New Directions programme supports people aged 15 to 29 who are not in education, employment or training with specialist support, information advice and guidance, training, mentoring, apprenticeships, job placements and further education to help these young people meet the needs of local employers. It has a proven track record of matching job-seekers to the needs of a business. Our Work Hub at Westfield Farm in Dormanstown, provides similar support to job-seekers of all ages.