Growing award winning business Latimer’s Seafood has taken the ambitious step of recruiting seven new members of staff. Husband and wife team Robert and Ailsa Latimer continue to nurture the careers of the people they employ.
The entrepreneurial pair responsible for launching and running the highly regarded deli, café and online Whitburn business take great pride in supporting the careers of their staff and giving them the opportunity to earn while they learn.
Summer is a time when young people are looking for work experience as they await exam and degree results and make key decisions on their future.
They have taken on this new group of part and full time workers across the café and deli businesses. They include Sophie Sweeney, Alec Britton, Katey Riseborough, Harry Wilkes, Aaron Grierson, Tyler Poxton and Daniel Hepple.
One of the seven, Harry, 17, from Sunderland, attends South Shields Marine School undertaking a three year cadetship. He’s well on his way to achieving his aspirations of becoming a marine engineer.
“I’ve always wanted to be an engineer and I love the idea of the unique lifestyle of a career at sea,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time for me as I start at Fred. Olsen Cruises in September as part of my practical cadetship. Working at Latimer’s, a seafood business is a brilliant way for me to earn a bit of cash and gain some great work experience.”
New starters part time staff Katey Riseborough, 17, from Grainger Town and Sophie Sweeney, 19, from Thornhill have specific career aspirations which they hope to achieve through college and university.
Katey is looking to get her A levels from Sunderland’s Southmoor Academy, a sixth form college, so next year she can go to either Northumbria University or Cardiff University to study to be a mid-wife.
Sophie, who attended St Roberts School in Washington, has aspirations as a musician, she sings and plays guitar, and successfully auditioned for a place on a music course at Newcastle College beginning in September.
Ailsa said: “We are always looking to grow our business and if that happens at the same time as helping those within it achieve their ambitions, then all the better.
“Whether that’s through generating wages to finance their education, learning to drive, running a car or just getting the opportunity to experience a busy working environment and all the skills that can develop, we’re happy to support them as long as they’re committed.”
Robert Latimer said: “My background in the fishing industry and our love for the North East seafood industry, and contribution to it, is well documented; but we are also passionate about ensuring our staff are properly developed. We run apprenticeship programmes, we are flexible how we approach part and full time employment to help fit individual need and we always look to encourage talent.
“As an employer it is great to see people grow and achieve things, even if that means ultimately they move on, it is still good to have played a positive part in their career development.”
Ailsa said: “What we hope to instil in our younger workers, and indeed all our staff, is a great work ethic and an understanding that you get out what you put in. It’s worked very well for us and we have long standing employees like Sophie Gray and Jack O’Leary who’ve both gone to university whilst still continuing to work here to help support themselves.
“Jack O’Leary is now a former Latimer’s staff member who helped us with many of our digital marketing and ethical campaigns, such as our #AutismAwareness campaign, with professionally shot video we commissioned. He graduated from Sunderland University and now works full time for a production company on the Netflix series ‘Sunderland til I die’, its fantastic to see him do so well.
“Long standing Latimers member of staff Sophie Gray has developed her talents here, she has Aspergers Syndrome and fronts our #AutismAwareness campaign, making Claude the Crab models and still works part time here as well as studying toward an arts and crafts degree at Sunderland University.”
The future for the latest Latimer intake is very bright indeed.