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College boosts Christmas staff recruitment

Paul Stafford

Sunderland College is working with businesses in the region to find and train potential employees as the demand for Christmas staff intensifies.

There will be around 20,000 temporary jobs created in Tyne and Wear in the run up to the Christmas and January sales season, particularly in the retail, catering and hospitality sectors.

As part of its employer engagement work, Sunderland College is designing and running bespoke programmes for businesses which train potential employees and make them work-ready.

The scheme, which is free of charge, builds a training course to meet the specific needs of the company – from training candidates in customer service to cleaning to food preparation, depending on the brief.

Sunderland College recruits candidates who are interested in working in the company’s specific sector to complete the six-week programme, and at the end of their training they are guaranteed an interview with the employer.

Paul Stafford, employer relationship manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to utilise the expertise of our employer engagement department, and ensures the temporary Christmas staff they employ already have the necessary skills and training they need for their role.

“There is no obligation for businesses to employ any of the candidates at the end of the programme, however we have found that both employers and candidates benefit significantly from this scheme.

“People who attend the training programmes leave with a range of new skills which gives them a major advantage in the jobs market and helps them to find future employment.”

Sunderland College works with a range of industries to provide recruitment support including business administration, construction, contact centre, education, hospitality, ICT, sales and welding.

It has created programmes for a number of high-profile employers including Cineworld, Tesco, Greene King and RGIS.

The college is currently working with DIY specialist Ability Supplies and it will be running a training programme from Monday with the aim of recruiting five new staff members to work at the company’s store in Grangetown.

Paul added: “We have a dedicated pool of employer-focused training staff who create and run the tailored sessions, and we have received excellent feedback from the companies we have already worked with.”

In addition to the free recruitment programme for employers, the college also provides support to people who are seeking work through a pre-employment scheme.

These programmes prepare people for work and equip them with the necessary skills and standards for their chosen industry, from offering advice on writing application forms to providing details of all job vacancies which the college is aware of.

Sunderland College provides free pre-employment training to around 1,300 people each year at its training centres at Cobalt Business Park, Doxford International Business Park and Boldon.

Paul said: “The support we offer to employers and people seeking work is an integral part of our provision as a college and is an area which has expanded greatly in recent years.”

To find out more about the training programmes available at Sunderland College, ring 0191 5116478, email employability@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk or visit the Facebook page North East Employment Opportunities.

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