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New staff rise to the challenge

A course devised by the Sunderland College employability team has helped another 14 people find work at a new pub restaurant.

Devised by Sunderland College and named RI:SE (Real Impact: Skills for Employment), the course trains jobseekers in the skills needed by the employer.

The college worked with the management of The Mill, Home of Franchescas on Thompson Road, Sunderland to create a course for its potential new staff.

While on the course students learnt about food hygiene, health and safety, first aid, customer service, interview skills and how to write a CV.

Michael Bartley, 25, deputy manager of The Mill, said: “When I heard about the RI:SE programme it sounded perfect for the business.

“I need all our staff to have basic certificates in food hygiene and first aid plus a good understanding of customer service and presentation. By working with the team at Sunderland College to put together a training programme I was able to ensure exactly that.

“This meant that when it came to the interview stage I knew those who had completed the course had everything needed to help run a successful pub restaurant.

“This has saved me so much time but what I was most impressed by was how eager and positive all the candidates were. They knew all about the business, the industry and were keen to put their new training into action.”

Samantha Blair, 25, from Sunderland, was guaranteed an interview after completing the RI:SE course and has now started work at the Mill. She said: “The course was great for boosting my confidence and preparing me for work.

“I gained certificates in health and safety, food hygiene and first aid and some of the training was very practical. I particularly enjoyed the wine tasting and barista training.”

The RI:SE programme runs throughout the year with courses tailored for careers that include administration, hospitality, care and contact centres.

Since 2008 nearly 3,000 people from across the North East have been through the programme helping fill vacancies across the region.

Hazel Storr, 41, employability manager with Sunderland College, said: “The impact the RI:SE programme is having is brilliant.

“The course proved to be really popular with the students, I think the wine-tasting and barista training really appealed to anyone who wanted to learn something a little different.

“The fact that 14 students on the course secured employment goes to show how valuable these courses are to employers. By targeting key areas in which to train their potential employees, businesses can easily find a motivated and skilled workforce.

“Those that have been employed by The Mill are all very capable and will make excellent members of the team. I wish them all every success and I shall certainly be along to see them in action.”

Going on a RI:SE course does not affect benefit payments and is open to anyone looking for work and eligible to work in the UK.

Anyone wanting more information on RI:SE and how to take part is asked to call  0191 511 6000 or email rise@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk

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