Home North East Beyond Housing hospitality academy extends courses to cater for area’s love of...

Beyond Housing hospitality academy extends courses to cater for area’s love of cocktails

Johanna Watts (left) pictured with Dean Randall-Downey at Kenzie’s Bar in Redcar.

Candidates enrolled on Beyond Housing’s 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 the Beyond Housing 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 at 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 at Beyond Housing, 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.”

The next hospitality course starts on Thursday 26 September and Beyond Housing is holding a hospitality recruitment day at Westfield Farm, Dormanstown at 2pm on Thursday 19 September to give hopefuls a chance to find out more about the sector and jobs available.

Beyond Housing’s 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 jobseekers to the needs of a business. Beyond Housing’s Work Hub at Westfield Farm in Dormanstown, provides similar support to jobseekers of all ages.

*ONS statistics