Made in Chesterfield

New music studios at Chesterfield College provide industry standard facilities

New studios at Chesterfield College are giving music production students and local musicians a professional space to practice and record, using industry standard equipment.

The studios are the latest addition to the college’s new music department. They are designed to allow students the opportunity to develop the technical and creative skills they need for their future careers. At the same time, they will also provide a useful resource for musicians in Chesterfield to use as a collaborative recording space in the evenings and at weekends.

The new facilities provide a perfect mix of practical and academic spaces for a combination of classroom based learning and hands on experience at music making and recording. They are made up of three elements. These include a traditional classroom space with a suite of macs for learning and editing, a control room including a mixing desk and analogue equipment, and a ‘live room’ which has been designed for traditional collaborative music making. The live room has features which are designed to reflect acoustics and help musicians perform better together.

After spending the first week of term using the new facilities, level 3 music students Josh Clark and Connor Cartledge told us about the difference it had made to them.

Josh who is a rapper, singer and songwriter, with an interest in production said: “I am very happy that I have the opportunity to come in to use an actual studio and work with my peers. The course gives us the chance to learn lots of different skills and practice on different equipment that I don’t have at home. I am excited to know how I can use it next. I am hoping to record my own EP using the facilities we have here. I am really looking forward to that.”

Connor, who wants to be a producer or sound engineer said: “It has made a massive difference now we have this equipment. When we leave college to pursue a career in music, whether as a producer or as a musician we will have the knowledge we need.  We have top of the range microphones and a full studio which will mean any assignments and projects we work on will sound a lot better. Last year we had to record on whatever we had because we couldn’t be in college, so it is going to make a lot of difference. We have got a lot to learn about how to run and work the studio, but it is good to have it ready for the start of the new college year.”

Music tutor and musician, Jonathon Salisbury said: “Having the music studio gives us a professional environment the students can walk into and use. You don’t necessarily need that level of equipment to make good music but if you learn how to use this kind of facility you can always scale back to whatever you need. It is fundamental for students to understand how a professional studio works and get used to that kind of environment. It will help them build up an amazing portfolio of recordings which will launch them onto whatever they choose to do after college.”

“The studio is designed with analogue equipment so it works best for traditional collaborative music making. You can put a whole band in one space. There is real magic that happens when you get musicians together in one room. All the old great bands worked that way. The students who have used it so far have been amazed that they are in this professional space making music with other people again. They are definitely inspired by the quality of what they can produce in the new facilities.”

One local band has already used the space to record parts of their album and the college plans to hire out the new music studios to more local bands and musicians. They are particularly keen to offer the space to those just starting out who are looking for a resource like this on their doorstep.

To find out more about hiring the music studios contact hello@weststudios.co.uk.

To find out more about studying music at Chesterfield College visit https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/music/

Chesterfield College 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, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield, 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 , , ,

Chamber celebrates helping 1,000 young people find job placements via Kickstart Scheme

East Midlands Chamber is celebrating after passing a major milestone – helping more than 1,000 young people to secure a job placement via the Kickstart Scheme.

The region’s leading business representation group has been commended by the Minister for Employment after playing a key role in assisting companies to create six-month work placements for people aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment.

The Chamber is the UK’s largest and – with almost half the vacancies created resulting in a position being filled – top-performing gateway organisation, which lodges funding applications on behalf of businesses to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

It celebrated the landmark achievement by welcoming key civil servants at the DWP to the Chesterfield Jobs Fair, hosted by Chesterfield Borough Council, earlier today (15 September).

East Midlands Chamber deputy chief executive and Kickstart lead Diane Beresford, along with education and business partnership manager Pieter Eksteen, also met with Jo Macdonald, who chairs the Kickstart gateway approvals board for the DWP, to explain how the Chamber has managed to secure so many placement starts among young people.

Diane said: “Young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic both in terms of their mental and physical wellbeing, and the significant amount of unemployment it has created.

“The Kickstart Scheme has therefore been a lifeline for them to get the skills and work experience that will be vital to their future prospects. We’re delighted with our track record in converting applications into real jobs, which have played a key role in giving young people the chance they may not have otherwise had while also enabling companies to trial new roles.

“We’re continuing to support businesses and job centres to place young people, as well as look beyond the six-month period to ensure there’s a future roadmap to full-time employment.”

How Kickstart Scheme has benefitted businesses and young people

Nick Hogan, owner of Chesterfield Escape Rooms, has hired six games masters via the Kickstart Scheme – with two other vacancies now live and an application for another position currently being processed – and joined the celebration event with Kickstart employee James Bryan.

Nick has entered into a joint venture partnership with some members of his Kickstart team to establish Chesterfield Games Quarter, which will comprise the escape rooms as well as a video games zone, virtual reality zone and the existing Geeks board game venue. Based in Soresby Street, it is due to open in October.

“I used the Kickstart scheme because I wanted to give something back to the town and create new opportunities for young people,” said Nick, who has given the team a five-figure, interest-free loan to the team to help it run the business.

“But it has also allowed me to get my foot into the market to assess the business opportunity, and has given me the confidence to now grow this into the Chesterfield Games Quarter concept.”

Freelance actor James, 22, of Chesterfield, (pictured above) is four months into his Kickstart placement at the escape rooms business after finding acting work opportunities deteriorated during the pandemic.

He said: “It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime to get involved with a new business, and gain some really valuable experience and diverse skills for my CV that will be really important for my future employability.”

How does the Kickstart Scheme work?

The DWP funds 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, national insurance and pension 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 had more than 2,700 placements approved among almost 800 businesses located in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and other locations. Of these, 2,200 have resulted in vacancies being created and 1,024 of those have now been filled.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “It’s fantastic to see that over 1,000 young people have begun their Kickstart journey thanks to the vital support from East Midlands Chamber, in a range of exciting new roles, setting them on the road for their future careers – crucially part of the over 69,000 young people who have now started these jobs.

“Our Plan for Jobs is focused on creating and spreading opportunity just like this around the UK as we push to level up across the country.”

East Midlands Chamber and Chesterfield Escape Rooms support 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, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Development, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged 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 , , , , ,

DEBP announces name change and launches new research and evaluation initiative

DEBP, formerly known as Derbyshire Edcuation Business Partnership will now be known as Direct Education Business Partnership, after a change to the organisation’s name took effect from 1st  September.

The organisation continues to work extensively in Derbyshire but also works much further afield, and the change reflects DEPB’s work in the wider education landscape.

Alongside this, DEPB will be fully established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

Clare Talati, CEO of DEBP, said: “This is an exciting move for us as we transition from being a private limited company with social aims to a fully-fledged charitable organisation.

“We want to be part of a sector whose primary purpose is to create social impact rather than profit. All Directors and staff, our greatest asset, will continue with us on this journey and we look forward to furthering our work to help young people reach their full potential.”

Alongside this, DEPB has introduced the new research and evaluation arm of the business; Insight+. This has grown from an existing project commissioned by Derby County Community Trust – as part of the Opportunity Area Inclusion Programme – to undertake a research and evaluation project capturing the educational experience of learners educated within a pupil referral unit environment.

This focusses on the inclusion/exclusion process and will help inform the City around their commitment to be a zero-exclusion centre of excellence.

Clare said, “Our core work will continue to focus on the delivery of programmes with business and educational partnerships. Insight+ will extend our work to providing research solution options, looking at best practice and new ideas, to address community needs and gaps. It will also enable us to extend our focus and use our expertise to help to advance education nationally.”

DEBP 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, Business, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged 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 , , , , , ,

County Council announces bumper Autumn of adult education courses

Learning opportunities are available for people across Chesterfield and Derbyshire, both online and face to face this autumn as part of Derbyshire County Council’s adult community education service.

During the pandemic many of the classes offered by the council’s adult community education service had to be moved online. This worked successfully in lots of subject areas so as the service gears up for the new term starting in September it will be offering a wide range of online courses as well as ones at its 16 centres spread across the county.

The online courses give students the flexibility to join in from their home or business and include ‘student paced’ ones that learners can do at any time in the advertised period.

Courses leading to qualifications and skills start from Monday 6 September with opportunities to join later in the year as well. These will be both online and face to face and include employability skills, maths and English GCSEs, digital skills, setting up your own business and environmental training.

There will be a week of free taster sessions of some of the learning for leisure courses from Monday 13 September. These are ideal for residents who may not be sure if a particular course is for them. There’s a choice of over 20 different subjects including:

  • boxing
  • music
  • foreign languages
  • creative writing
  • poetry
  • murder mystery evening – the Crich Creeper
  • social media for business
  • cookery
  • exercise – both gentle and more challenging

Then the wide range of learning for leisure courses, both online and face to face, get underway from Monday 20 September with day schools and one-off evening sessions later in the term. Languages, arts and crafts, healthy living, care for the environment, personal development and creative cookery are amongst the subjects on offer.

Those wanting to gain essential digital skills, improve their qualifications, change career, set up a business or learn to lip read will find courses to suit them as well. And there are family learning courses and provision for adults with learning disabilities and those wanting to improve their mental health.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Alex Dale said: “I’m delighted that our adult education service can now offer face to face classes as well as continuing with online learning.

“This blend of learning is widening the opportunities for more residents to get involved and means that we can offer even more subjects whether for leisure or to gain qualifications”.

Bookings are now open. Find the full details in the adult education course brochures.

Book a learning for leisure course

Booking details for the qualification and skills courses varies and specifics are given in that brochure. Course fees vary with some courses free of charge and concessions for those on certain benefits and Derbyshire Gold Card holders.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, 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

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

Professor Brian Cox CBE to inspire young people at Work-Wise Foundation event

Chesterfield Champion, The Work-Wise Foundation is set to welcome Professor Brian Cox to one of its upcoming events, aimed at inspiring the next generation to consider careers in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths).

 The North Star Science School event will take place at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park Resort and at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

This major event for schools, now in its second year, promotes innovation and opportunity to inspire the next generation to consider careers in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths).

North Star is part of the Science Summer School national initiative co-founded in 2012 by Professor Cox and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE with the aim of making Britain the best place in the world to do science and engineering. The event is presented in partnership with Well North Enterprises,  a social business led by Lord Mawson.

North Star will be led and organised by The Work-wise Foundation, a non-profit, employer-led charity which aims to develop young people for employment in STEAM subjects within South Yorkshire region and North Derbyshire.

Professor Brian Cox, Britain’s leading physicist and science communicator will officially launch North Star on November 24th and also appear as the keynote speaker.   The event will be hosted by Ruth Amos, inventor and founder of Kids Invent Stuff.

There will be a special opportunity for current and prospective project sponsors and supporters to hear Professor Cox speak at a special ‘invitation only’ evening event at the Advanced Manufacturing Park on November 24th.

John Barber, CEO of The Work-wise Foundation explains: “The daytime event is designed to connect our young people to inspirational businesses which will spark their imaginations and set them on the road to great opportunities in STEAM careers.  It is very exciting to be welcoming Professor Brian Cox to South Yorkshire and we look forward to seeing the impact this whole event could have on raising aspirations and shaping careers choices for our region’s young people.”

The Work-Wise Foundation supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

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