Faced with a national shortage of chefs and the responsibility for recruitment across half of the restaurants in Bella Italia, Amanda Shaw needed to think about new and different ways to attract and train people into these roles.
One of these was to consider new avenues such as the National Probation Service. Amanda was put in contact with the Service by APM, and her HR Director recommended Train Together as a training provider. The three organisations – Bella Italia, Train Together and APM – collaborated on a project to create a sector-based programme that would help find and develop potential new recruits for Bella Italia.
The Train Together course consisted of three weeks’ classroom-based training, including a mix of hard and soft skills. Candidates also had three days’ work experience in Bella Italia’s kitchens before taking part in job interviews.
It was this mix of skills that Amanda really valued, “While it’s necessary to teach food safety, it’s also really important to develop the softer skills such as team working, giving and receiving feedback and relationship-building. Kitchens can be a very demanding environment and chefs need to work well as part of a team.”
This was Amanda’s first experience of working with Train Together and she has found it a very positive one.
“Working with Train Together has exceeded all of our expectations. They were really keen to listen and understand our needs and their on-going communication has been great. Our values matched very well and we share a common aim of helping get people into meaningful and stable employment. They genuinely care for the trainees and I’ve been really impressed by the quality of candidates coming through. So much of that is down to the support provided by Train Together.”
The programme is already proving successful with offers made to two candidates and more in the pipeline. Amanda is hoping to continue with the programme annually and use it as blueprint to roll-out geographically across the business.