Apprentice Town

NLT strengthens team with new appointment

Increased course demand has promoted the latest appointment at NLT Training Services.

Emily Marriot joins the training provider to support with course booking and delivery across NLT’s Chesterfield and Scunthorpe sites.

She brings training and development experience to NLT, having completed a Business Administration apprenticeship with NLT’s training delivery partner Impulse Training Ltd. Emily is also currently undertaking a Level 4 Assessor Coach Apprenticeship which, once complete, will enable Emily to deliver a number of NLT’s courses.

Emily will also help deliver NLT’s Step into Employment programme which is funded by the charitable arm of the training provider. The free six-week Step into Employment programme delivers practical support and advice to people facing unemployment, helping them create their own personal roadmap back to the workplace.

Emily commented: “I love the variety of the role and the people I get to meet at NLT. I am working with experienced industry professionals, young people, later life career changers and refugee families. It’s a fantastic opportunity for both career and personal development.”

Outside work Emily is kept occupied with her two dogs and four horses which she rides five.

NLT Training Services, based in Chesterfield, has been delivering workplace training to individuals and companies since 1968. NLT is also registered as a charity with the Charity Commission.

NLT’s courses, whether bespoke or an industry requirement, are designed to ensure compliance with regulatory authorities and the due diligence requirements of business.

To find out more about the range of Health and Safety, Mechanical Engineering and Leadership and Management courses available at NLT, call 0333 880 3540 or browse the course catalogue on the NLT website at www.nlt-training.co.uk

Find out more about the vast range of training opportunities in Chesterfield here.

NLT Training supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Business, Home, Love Chesterfield, VisitingTagged in , , , , ,

College to support employers following extension to the apprenticeship incentive scheme

Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group, Julie Richards, has welcomed the news that the Government plans to extend the apprenticeship incentive and Kickstart schemes.

Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement last week, she has pledged to continue to help and support employers in the area who wish to take advantage of the incentives available before they end in 2022.

Since the incentive schemes were announced last year, as part of the Government’s Covid recovery plans, the college has supported over 300 employers to access bonus payments of up to £4,000 to recruit almost 400 apprentices.

Speaking about how the college was best placed to help more local employers take advantage of the incentives, Julie Richards said:

“Apprenticeships have always offered a fantastic opportunity to fill skills gaps and develop people. The bonus payment is designed to help employers feel more secure in their ability to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice. Apprenticeships provide our young people with specific opportunities to develop their skills and secure meaningful employment which supports their financial independence and prepares them for adult life and a successful career.”

“As a local college we are committed to matching the needs of employers with the skills and talents of young people. I urge employers to contact the college to understand how the scheme may work for them. Our team are experts in supporting employers to develop a programme of skills development which will have long lasting benefits both for them and the local economy.”

The experienced team are helping organisations, large and small across Derbyshire and the East Midlands, to find the best candidates for their apprenticeship vacancies. They have a talent pool of students and applicants ready to find their next step in the world of work and are supporting businesses to navigate the recruitment process to secure their new apprentice.

Matt Cryans, Director at Crytec Ltd, a company based in Clay Cross, which sells machinery for construction, forestry and manual handling, told us about his experience of recruiting his first apprentice and making the most of the incentive scheme with the support of the college.

He said: “The scheme covers a decent proportion of an apprentice’s wages so it gives you confidence to recruit. The extra funding certainly helps you to make the move to grow the team when things feel a bit uncertain. The team at college made it easy to apply for the funding and supported me through the steps of taking on an apprentice.”

Find out more about the apprenticeship bonus scheme and the support available for Kickstart here https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/extension-to-4000-apprenticeship-incentive-and-kickstart-scheme/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Get on the ladder and build a career in Property and Construction

Are you looking to get on the career ladder? The Property and Construction sector is a great place to build your career. This sector currently employs around 2,600 people locally, with the share of employment broadly in line with the national average.

Currently there is a growing number of active housing sites in Chesterfield and these will drive construction growth alongside the development of new commercial sites such as Chesterfield Waterside and Staveley Corridor. You can learn more about this specific sector on the My Future careers platform.

There are many benefits to taking an apprenticeship as a career route, especially in the Property and Construction sector.

Growing number of apprenticeship vacancies

There is a growing number of apprenticeship vacancies becoming available as the sector expands.

Andy Dabbs, Architect and Board Director at Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox Architects explains: “The importance of apprenticeship programmes cannot be underestimated, particularly in the post-Brexit environment and the associated skills gap that is challenging so many businesses. Not only can these programmes provide individuals with the required skills for work but they are also more accessible, providing a platform that may otherwise not be available to so many talented candidates.

Right now the construction industry is seeing a period of growth and given the impact of the last 18 months this is a fantastic place to be. What we cannot now afford is for that growth to be stifled by an inability to attract the required employees, and this is where apprenticeships will no doubt become increasingly important to our sector.”

You can find all current apprenticeship vacancies available in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire here.

Learning on the job

Apprenticeships allow you to learn new skills on the job, whilst also earning a wage.

Andrew Byrne, Property Development Director of Devonshire Property Group, said: “Apprenticeships are, and have been, the life blood of the construction industry for many many years.  They are a great way for people to learn on the job and perfect their skills, whilst reaping the benefits of employment.

We all live, work or play in buildings at some point in our daily lives and being part of creating those spaces is one of the most rewarding feelings there is.  This takes on even more importance as today’s apprentices will be learning the skills that will re-shape those places, where we live and work, making them more environmentally friendly and directly tackling the impacts and in some cases the causes of climate change.”

The Apprentice Perspective

Kieran Cox – Inspire Design and Development Ltd

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“My course is the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Construction Contracting Operations and my job title is Apprentice CAD Technician. Often I will be recreating sketched drawings into AutoCAD and mocking up drainage plans under supervision, I chose to work in the Construction industry as I believe it’s an opportunity to show the works you create along the way, this comes as a source of job satisfaction for myself and for others also, seeing developments I have had a hand in be built and work as intended always inspires me to learn further.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“I feel that there are many obvious benefits with an apprenticeship, especially in terms of having first-hand experience at the jobs you potentially may work in, and should you not find that specific job is for you, you’re still learning towards other newer opportunities such as civil engineering. Skills developed are transferable as construction is such a broad branch of work, which allows you to shift focus to a line of work not to dissimilar to the last.”

Aaron Wathall – Woodhead Group 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“I am currently doing a technical apprenticeship, which involves experiencing different aspects of the business such as site management, project management, quantity surveying and estimating. However I do look at other areas of the business for a month, such as financing, social development of the sector etc. which I experience in the head office.

I chose an apprenticeship in construction because I was brought up around it all my life working with my dad on property development including renovating our bungalow which I did with my brother who is a joiner. I  also studied construction in school so I felt this was the right career path to go down. I enjoy meeting new people and getting knowledge from experienced sub-contractors and people on site. I also enjoy looking at the different build stages and watching certain works take place and finally seeing the completed project.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“The benefits of doing an apprenticeship in this sector is you get to experience across lots of different areas of the business and are not fixed to one role. Also, all the knowledge and experience you gain from the apprenticeship can then help you make future career choices knowing what you enjoyed and liked most in the apprenticeship.”

Sam Bartram – Woodhead Group 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“I chose a 2 year apprenticeship covering all aspects of the company including site management, project management, quantity surveying, estimating and support services. This allows me to see how people own it, achieve it and improve it – the company values. I chose the apprenticeship within construction due to the fact that I previously worked as a shop fitter and wanted a challenge within a different area of construction. I enjoy the fact that this programme allows us to trial and chose our future career path and I’m looking forward to covering these.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“The benefit of an apprenticeship route in my opinion is that you are provided with expert experience and knowledge in the field of construction learning first-hand and then getting the qualifications to back up the internal training plans. This was a key factor for me choosing this route.”

Learn more about apprenticeships from current apprentices in Chesterfield here.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in Chesterfield, Property and ConstructionTagged in , , ,

New apprentice software engineer bolsters the Weightron Bilanciai team

Weightron Bilanciai has announced a further addition to its apprenticeship program with the hiring of new Software Engineer, Reece Berry.

The move follows on from the successful completion of a Graduate Apprenticeship scheme at Sheffield Hallam University of an existing Software Developer.

Reece, 18, said: “Before I joined Weightron I studied A-Levels at St Mary’s Sixth Form in Chesterfield where I did the subjects ICT, English Literature and Drama.

“I chose to go down the apprenticeship route as I was passionate about IT and software development. I had the option to go to university, but I wanted to work in a real live environment to gain a mixture of skills that would benefit me in multiple ways.

Weightron Bilanciai is providing me with training, support and skills I require to undertake the challenge of becoming a highly skilled software engineer and developer, this has given me the chance to explore and learn areas of IT I never knew about.

“I would highly recommend doing an apprenticeship to those who are searching for a job.”

Instead of taking the ‘traditional’ university route, an apprenticeship enables young people to learn and work whilst receiving an income, and have the determination to progress further.

Reece added: “Weightron Bilanciai have also given me the option to obtain a degree qualification at Sheffield Hallam University whilst working, this would also enable me to have a recognized qualification without the burden of university fees.”

There are many opportunities for young people across Chesterfield to get onto the career ladder via an apprenticeship. The innovative ‘My Future’ platform gives learners the option to:

• Meet local employers and explore apprenticeship opportunities
• Work with training providers to learn about and access courses that are available
• Virtually visit post 16 institutions including colleges and universities
• Learn about the employment opportunities in your town

Chesterfield was also the first town in the UK to declare itself an ‘Apprentice Town’, demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy.

Weightron Bilanciai supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Woodhead Group apprentices shine to take company award

The most recent cohort of Technical Apprentices working at Robert Woodhead Ltd are excelling that much so, that they received the firm’s ‘Values Champions Award’ this quarter.

Aaron Wathall and Sam Bartram began their apprenticeship journey in January 2020, during an uncertain time due to Covid-19. They studied for college remotely and adapted to the Covid-19 regulations within the working environment extremely well, showing resilience and determination.

Although, both were able to attend site; Aaron is based at Eastglade, a housing development with Nottingham City Homes for Nottingham City Council and Sam is based at Northgate, a housing development in partnership with Newark & Sherwood Homes.

It was clear that both Aaron and Sam started to build their confidence and skill sets early on, as they impressed both mentors and teachers at college and on site.

Robert Woodhead Ltd.’s Business Support Manager, Matt Bust, who is mentoring both Apprentices commented on their progression so far:

“They have integrated into the business extremely well, right from the beginning. I have received fantastic feedback from both their tutors at college and mentors on site. You can see that they have a clear passion for the construction industry and their skills are continuing to develop as well as their confidence. It is a delight to see our company values shining through their projects and everyday tasks.”

Aaron showed determination and had the confidence to approach his tutor at college asking how he could improve his grades, and if he was able to re-write an essay: “It has been a great experience so far in all areas of the business that I have worked in, and some of the knowledge I have picked up during my apprenticeship has been priceless.”

Sam also demonstrated courage as he would continue to always ask for more help if he was struggling, resulting in his knowledge of the construction industry growing, as well as his confidence: “It is a great opportunity for me as I’m learning every day and I am being supported immensely by Matt, Woodhead’s, and my mentors at college. I am really enjoying my time with the group; every day is different, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the company.”

“The knowledge and experience gained from the apprenticeship can help you to decide on your future career, as you will have discovered a passion for a certain sector in the industry.”

Both Aaron and Sam have finished learning about Project Management and Site Management and now will be moving onto their next rotation in Quantity Surveying.

The company recently announced a partnership with Chesterfield College to improve apprenticeship opportunities in the construction sector for future generations. Read about the initiative here.

Robert Woodhead Ltd. supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Business, Home, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Local apprentices set to be honoured at brand-new awards

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire are set to name its top apprentice next month. The winner of the Apprentice of the year accolade will be named at the brand-new 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards, organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Entire FM – Complete Facilities Management.

Sally Grattage (35) from Chesterfield Borough Council, Chris Guard (25) of Guard Business Solutions and Ellie Gibson (21) who is employed by Heathcotes Group, have all been shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year award.

Sponsored by DBC Training, the award recognises apprentices that have made a significant contribution to the success of a local organisation. The winner of the prestigious accolade will be announced at a black tie awards ceremony at the Winding Wheel Theatre on Wednesday 20 October.

The Love Chesterfield Awards combine the long-running Chesterfield High Street and Food and Drink Awards, both of which have honoured apprentices in the town each year in recognition of the valuable contribution apprentices and apprenticeships make to the local economy.

Proud to be shortlisted Sally Grattage, who is undertaking a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship with Chesterfield Borough Council commented: “After working in the sports and leisure industry for 18 years, never did I think I would be undertaking an apprenticeship at the age of 35. To be shortlisted for this award has been a real surprise as to me; I am one to always go the extra mile to ensure my work is done to the highest of standards but, to me, that is what you do. It makes me so proud of my achievements so far.”

Through her apprenticeship Sally hopes to be able to help sports centres reach their fullest potential using digital marketing.

Sally’s boss Chris Wright, Operations Manager at Queen’s Park Sports Centre added: “The development of our marketing since Sally has been engaged in the apprenticeship has definitely improved. Sally has also been able to audit our marketing activity so we can continue to progress. The projects that she does for her apprenticeship are chosen as they have a direct impact upon the centres. They are real challenges to our service that, once completed, benefit our customers and our bottom line.”

Chris Guard, who has recently completed his Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship was delighted to be shortlisted for the award. He said: “I typically tend to just keep my head down and crack on. Being shortlisted for the Love Chesterfield Awards was a surprise but it showed me that even though I keep focused on my work, it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Following the completion of his apprenticeship, Chris, who is IT Systems Manager at Guard Business Solutions, is now undertaking a finance course in order to qualify as a bookkeeper.

Steven Guard, CEO of Guard Business Solutions commented: “Chris is a very driven individual and took on the apprenticeship with real gusto. As he progressed, he has taken on other duties within his role expanding his skills and knowledge further than the bounds of his apprenticeship. He has proved to be an invaluable member of the team and continues to learn, utilising newer technologies.”

After heading to university to do tourism and events management, Ellie Gibson (21) decided that earning and learning in a different environment would be more suited to her.

The former Bolsover School student, who has completed her Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship is delighted to be shortlisted for the award: “Heathcotes was offering something completely different to what I was doing before, which made a nice change, and there is a high success rate with apprentices here too. I was very surprised to be shortlisted for this award but it’s nice to know that others have noticed my hard work.”

Brendan Kelly, Managing Director at Heathcotes Group added: “We took on an apprentice to ensure that we are accessing enterprising young people who can grow into roles within the business. It’s been brilliant having Ellie at the business, she has matured into a genuine asset.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield added: “Apprentices are incredibly important to the town and creating opportunities for young people is right at the forefront of our plans. Required skills are constantly changing in the modern, fast-pace working world and having that pool of young talent is crucial to allow our businesses to thrive.”

The Apprentice of the Year is one of 16 categories in the new 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards. In addition to apprentices, the new awards also recognise the contribution of entrepreneurs, regeneration projects, sustainability and community activities to the town’s economy over the last two years.

See the full list of 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards finalists here: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfieldawards/finalists/

The 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards are supported and made possible by a number of sponsors and partners, including: Addooco IT, Banner Jones Solicitors, BHP Accountants, Chesterfield Borough Council, Chesterfield Digital High Street, The Chesterfield College Group, DBC Training, Derbyshire Times, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), Entire FM – Complete Facilities Management, Evoluted, Greatest Hits Radio South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, Hoods Florist, JP Fire Safety Solutions, MSE Hiller, Peak Pharmacy, Reflections Magazine, Shorts Chartered Accountants, Spirecross Ltd and Van Dyk by Wildes.

Peter Swallow added: “It’s never been more important to show our appreciation of the business community, so we’d love for the awards ceremony to be our biggest and best yet. This can only be made possible with sponsorship.”

Destination Chesterfield has one sponsorship opportunity remaining for the Café/Tea Room of the Year category. If you would like to support the town, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/lovechesterfieldawards/sponsors/sponsorshippackages/ or contact Tara Underhill, Senior Destination Chesterfield Coordinator by emailing Tara.underhill@chesterfield.co.uk or calling 01246 207 207.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Love Chesterfield Awards, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chatsworth Launches Recruitment Drive For Hospitality Staff

Chatsworth has launched a recruitment drive to fill more than 30 hospitality roles in its cafes, pub and restaurants across the Derbyshire estate.

A selection of full and part-time positions are available for immediate starts in the hotels and restaurants, working in both the kitchens and front of house.

The recruitment drive follows the launch of a professional training academy to support new employees at Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants Group. The Devonshire Hospitality Academy will welcome its first students in autumn 2021 for its in-house training programme, which will lead to a recognised industry qualification at Level 2 Apprenticeship. Crucially, on successful completion of the course, permanent full time jobs will automatically offered.

In an effort to attract candidates and highlight the exciting career opportunities on offer, two Recruitment Days are taking place at Chatsworth on Thursday 9 September and Saturday 11 September.

Every attendee will be guaranteed an interview with a member of the senior hospitality team with a range of short term part-time seasonal roles on offer to longer-term opportunities with for those looking to build a career.

Richard Palmer, Devonshire Hotels MD, is particularly interested in finding people looking to make a longer term commitment and take advantage of the 18-month industry recognised training programme on offer.

“The loss of the labour force from Europe and the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector being one of the last to re-open has created a ‘perfect storm’ impacting on our ability to recruit and find people with the right skills.

“We want to get across the message that they are lots of fantastic careers in hospitality and we can help support people to realise those aspirations. I’m an example of this as I actually started within the Hotels at Bolton Abbey as a waiter and am now heading up the hotels and restaurants group.

“We’re keen to hear from people who may be coming to the end of furlough and are looking for a career change as well as those who may be starting out and looking for a job with excellent prospects.”

As well as Richard himself, the Chatsworth team is full of inspiring stories of those who have worked their way up with the support and training on offer from James Adlington who started as a casual worker to now managing the acclaimed Burlington Restaurant in Yorkshire in just six years to David Milward and Steph Shirt who both started as apprentices and are now Chef at Chatsworth and Head Baker at Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop respectively.

Richard added: “If you’re approachable and passionate, we would love you to become part of our team.”

As well as the guaranteed interview, attendees will hear from the senior hospitality team about working for Chatsworth. Roles are currently available at the Cavendish Hotel, the Devonshire Arms in Beeley and the Devonshire Arms in Pilsley.

Anyone interested in finding out more is advised to register their interest with their preferred date and time slot as soon as possible as places are limited. A drink and slice of homemade cake is thrown in to seal the deal.

  • Thursday 9 September | 2.30pm, 4pm, 5,30pm
  • Saturday 11 September | 10.30am, 12pm, 3pm
  • Location: Cavendish Restaurant, The Stables, Chatsworth, DE45 1PP
  • Email hr@devonshiregroup.co.uk to register.

Chatsworth supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Find the route to success with an Apprenticeship in Wholesale, Distribution and Export

Wholesale, Distribution and Export offers various job opportunities from the warehouse floor, to delivery, marketing, management and much more.

There are many benefits to using an apprenticeship as a career route and this blog explores the views from current apprentices.

Wholesale, Distribution and Export

Chesterfield is an ideal location for Wholesale, Distribution and Export businesses due to the network links and easy access to the M1 motorway.

We have seen an increase in business opportunity in this sector through the Markham Vale development. Businesses located at the 200-acre business park include Daher Aerospace Limited, Great Bear, Ferdinand Bilstein, Grangers Ltd, MSE Hiller and Industrial Ancillaries.

The Apprentice Perspective

Kacey Pagliano – Superior Wellness

Superior Wellness is a distributor, importing from several countries to offer a wide choice of hot tubs, swim spas and other related products to their trade and retail customers.

Kacey recently started an apprenticeship at Superior Wellness working in the Logistics team.

 Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“The apprenticeship is to help me achieve my business admin qualification. I knew that an apprenticeship was right for me because I have always found it easier to learn in the moment instead of sitting in the classroom and learning by textbooks.

The benefits of choosing an apprenticeship are that it is more hands on with the job and the team are helping you learn whilst you help them.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“The apprenticeship is a great way for me to get an understanding and knowledge of how the working world works. By doing the apprenticeship it is helping me reach my goal of working in the logistics industry.”

What are your ambitions for your future career?

“I am currently working on my 18-month apprenticeship and hoping to have a job with Superior Wellness after completion. My role in the team is to help in any way I can while learning new skills at the same time. This may be answering phones and doing small tasks that have a big impact on the team if they aren’t completed.

I am enjoying my apprenticeship because in the first month the team have made me feel welcome and part of the team. They have helped me with new tasks, they all encourage me to try new tasks and even meet new people in the company that I don’t work with on a day to day basis. I definitely recommend an apprenticeship. It is a great way to get into the world of work straight from school.”

Fraser Bowman – Peak Pipe Systems

Peak Pipe Systems is a UK leader in the manufacture and supply of polyethylene (PE) multi-utility pipeline solutions. They supply to a comprehensive network of partner merchants and distributors who offer UK coverage.

Fraser is a Level 3 Maintenance & Operations Engineering Technician apprentice.

 Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“I knew full time college probably wouldn’t give me the challenge I was looking for. I also enjoy money. The money and on-the-job training gives you valuable experience which you definitely would not get with full time college.

I like how every job I do is different, and they aren’t afraid to push me. The company I work for clearly want me to do well so it gives me more motivation to work hard. The variation and working on tools are exactly what I do daily so its spot on for that. The engineers I work with are clever blokes and I learn something new from them pretty much every day. I have a good relationship with everyone, whether that be in the office or out on the shop floor so it’s not like I sit on my own all day being quiet, which makes things even more interesting.

College is something that I really enjoy as I have made a couple new friends there who I would describe as some of my best and I would have never of met them without doing what I do now, so that’s a bonus. I enjoy seeing my own progress and sometimes I even shock myself with how much I have learnt so far.”

What is your advice for someone looking to start a career in this sector?

“If you want to be a maintenance engineer, you must be eager to learn about what it is you are maintaining. You also need to show that you are confident around people of all walks of life and show that you aren’t just going to sit there and not be proactive when there is a breakdown. Being confident and talking to people also seems to give people the confidence that you also know what you’re doing. I think showing people that you want to learn is the main thing because you have to definitely do lots of it.”

You can find out more from current apprentices in Chesterfield here.

Apprenticeships Vacancies

You can find all current apprenticeship vacancies available in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire here.

Superior Wellness are currently looking for a Business Administrator Apprentice.

Businesses at Markham Vale also have a range of apprenticeship vacancies available:

People searching for work in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire are invited to a Chesterfield Market Recruitment event. You can learn about Kickstart vacancies, meet employers and get help to perfect your CV. Find out more about the event here.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , , , , , ,

We need the next generation to “Choose Hospitality”

Chris Mapp is the Managing Director of the Tickled Trout in Barlow.  Chris was named Food Hero at the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards 2019.

He is passionate about the industry and Chesterfield and is keen to develop young people beginning their careers to understand how food works – taste over presentation using locally-sourced food.

In this guest blog he shares his views on the challenges facing his sector post lockdown and is calling on the next generation to ‘Choose Hospitality’ as a career path.


Chesterfield Food Hero - Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards 2019

This isn’t about me, it’s not about who I am, where I have worked and who with, and it is certainly not a moan or rant. It is about my genuine concern about my family-owned pub in a beautiful Derbyshire village.  The hospitality industry is struggling to recover post covid and in my opinion it is facing a more uncertain future than ever before.

Eighteen months ago tears were shed by my team on the last night we were open as we entered the first lockdown and the reality of shutting my business hit home hard.  We pulled together as a team, prepared nearly 4000 ready meals for key workers in the NHS and kept team morale up through zoom wine tastings and funny what’s app group messages. It was tough from a business perspective as there was fear and uncertainty to how we could manage financially but with the furlough scheme, grants and the ability to do takeaways we survived…  Relief!

I counted down the days to reopen, we were back as a work family again and we welcomed friends back through our doors. It was not business as usual though and I realised the challenges in running my business were growing.  Staff recruitment and retention is harder than ever, and costs are escalating.

In my view there is no going back to previous working terms and conditions; staff have moved away from our industry during lockdown or are not prepared to come back working the long hours for the low pay we have put up for many years.  As the saying goes, I have been there and got the T shirt, I have worked the 90 – 100 hours plus weeks with early starts and late finishes, missing family and social events.  I believe the pandemic has caused reflection and a change in culture has begun.  This is right, this is something I want to support.  It is time for change. I want to champion a better work life balance for my team but the problem is, how do we get this to work in practice?

I am aware in an attempt to retain and attract staff some restaurants have restricted opening hours but this isn’t really appropriate for a village pub.  My plan is to run a 4 day rota for staff (48 hours over 4 days) plus overtime, this is to survive both in short term and hopefully long term.  For those outside hospitality this is the norm but for chefs and front of house managers it is far from it.  I have adverts open and hoping to increase my team significantly to get this to work but I am reworking my budgets with anxiety.  This is where I and others in similar circumstances need help.  A cultural shift won’t be possible without a degree of solidarity and commitment from key players in our industry.  Raising awareness will be key to why these changes need to be put in place – yes a pint may cost a few pence more for your local to survive.  Not because bigger profits are being made but because staff are being paid fairly for the work they do.

There is a huge domino effect rippling through the UK with restaurants, cafes and pubs not being able to operate fully, this cascades to the supplier and their workforce which in turn affects the farmers and their staff. Don’t also forget that farmers produce barley for brewing, there was so much wasted last year. Hospitality is an enormous business alone but when you look deeper, a huge amount of businesses rely on hospitality to function at 100%. It’s quite frightening.

We really need people to join our beloved industry, it can be an excellent career, we need the next generation to “Choose Hospitality”. I am a patron of a large national charity that is working hard to generate interest at school and youth level and amongst others charities, we need to get more like minded owners and chefs and front of house management involved.

The Manchester Evening News recently highlighted that there is currently 3000 jobs available in hospitality in Manchester having doubled in a matter of weeks and this is before the big football clubs reopen their hospitality.

I can envisage that soon there will only be old men and women in kitchens….

Joe Biden recently said that a job in hospitality is your first best job, as the States have similar issues simmering, we concur.

I am hugely proud of the food we serve in the UK and at my pub and the customer service we give and I welcome a collective conversation to how we can all survive in the future.

 

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Business, Made in Chesterfield

New Free ‘Skills Bootcamps’ announced

Following a successful pilot, the D2N2 LEP has been announced as one of several organisations across the country to deliver the expanded national Skills Bootcamp programme.

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

The programme has been developed by the Government as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities, to help people develop the skills that are in demand and get a better job.

As the D2N2 LEP steps up its drive to help employers and the local economy the new courses will be helping even more adults gain digital skills. Digital skills are not just for digital jobs. These skills are becoming increasingly essential across a vast array of jobs and sectors in the modern workforce – 82% of all job openings online request digital skills.

Working with our delivery partners and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, the new courses will include:

  • Coding and software development
  • IT, Networking and Infrastructure
  • Cyber and system security
  • Digital Marketing

Speaking about the new announcement, Elizabeth Fagan, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“Training in the skills of the future and the skills we know our employers need is critical to our region’s economic recovery and our long-term growth.

“The Skills Bootcamps will complement the many local schemes that are already up and running across our region. I would urge prospective learners and employers to see what training and course options are available.”

The free courses are open to anyone aged 19 or over and are employed, self-employed, have recently become unemployed or are returning to work after a break.

Employers and individuals can find out more at: gov.uk/free-courses-for-jobs

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Home

Chesterfield Escape Rooms helps unemployed young people get on career ladder

Robbing banks and investigating paranormal activity is the name of the game at a new Chesterfield venue – which has used the Kickstart scheme to bolster its team.

Chesterfield Escape Rooms, which opened in May, has used the Government-backed employment programme – aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment – to hire six games masters among its 16 employees.

It applied for funding to create the initial six-month placements via East Midlands Chamber, which is a Kickstart gateway organisation and has worked with Chesterfield Borough Council to engage businesses about the scheme’s benefits.

Nick Hogan, who owns the escape room business, said he had initially considered employing people on zero-hour contracts due to the unknown nature of bookings, but felt this wouldn’t help to build a workforce with a “sense of belonging”.

“When Kickstart came along, it allowed me to recruit and be selective in the recruitment process,” he said.

“In working with these six people, it’s reminded me that everyone deserves a chance. The younger generation is tomorrow’s workforce and unless we give the opportunities to succeed, our businesses won’t survive.”

How Kickstart scheme has offered opportunities to young people in Chesterfield

One of the Kickstart employees is James Bryan, from Chesterfield, whose role involves customer service, sales and running the games, which require players to solve a series of puzzles within a set time to unlock the room.

The 21-year-old, who was previously a freelance actor, writer and radio editor, said: “I can already feel I’ve gained more confidence in speaking to customers and leading games.

“The scheme is wonderful for our generation in these strange times, and it’s most definitely helped me.”

Meanwhile, Laura Maskrey, from Matlock, joined Brampton-based digital marketing agency Brighter Directions as a social media executive.

The 25-year-old English language and linguistics graduate had previously been placed on furlough and then made redundant from her job in marketing and communications before she began applying for Kickstart vacancies.

She said: “It has taken me longer than expected to settle due to not having a solid routine and job role for nearly a year, but I love the role and my team has been so welcoming and patient with me.

“My placement will have a positive impact on my job prospects as I have learned a huge amount in short space of time, which has improved my confidence and mental health dramatically from being unemployed.”

Kickstart job placements still available in Derbyshire and wider East Midlands

The Department for Work and Pensions funds 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, national insurance and pensions contributions for 25 hours a week over a six-month period.

Employers can choose to top up this wage and are also eligible for a £1,500 Government grant for training people on a Kickstart placement.

Once applications are accepted, young people are referred into the roles via a Jobcentre Plus work coach.

East Midlands Chamber has secured more than 3,000 placements among almost 800 businesses located in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and other locations. Just under 900 of these roles have been filled, with 2,000 vacancies live.

Deputy chief executive and Kickstart lead Diane Beresford said: “We’re so proud to have played a key role in giving young people a chance they may not otherwise have had. After spending many months working with employers on their applications, it’s incredibly exciting and rewarding to see the fruits of our labour as people now start their jobs.

“Businesses taking part are playing a vital role in their communities by supporting and preparing our future workforce, while they also benefit from a relatively risk-free opportunity to trial new roles that could lead to future growth.”

East Midlands Chamber has worked with local authorities including Chesterfield Borough Council to hold information sessions for businesses in the area.

It’s just the latest collaboration between the organisations after the Chamber also delivered council-funded projects including the Chesterfield Digital High Street programme and the Business Crime Reduction Partnership – an existing scheme run alongside the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner that has now been made available free of charge for up to 2,000 Chesterfield businesses.

The council’s deputy leader Councillor Amanda Serjeant added: “Kickstart offers a fantastic opportunity for young people to increase their experience in the workplace, which will help them develop new skills and build a career.

“I’d encourage any young person currently looking for work to apply for these opportunities because you never know where it may lead.”

The deadline for employers to apply for the Kickstart scheme is fast approaching as the roles must begin by 31 December this year, with funding provided until 30 June 2022.

Businesses interested in applying for a Kickstart scheme grant should contact Pieter Eksteen on pieter.eksteen@emc-dnl.co.uk or 0333 320 0333 (Ext 2241).

The latest Kickstart vacancies can be viewed at www.emc-dnl.co.uk/kickstart-vacancies.

Chesterfield Escape Rooms

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Home, Made in Chesterfield

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