Berkeley Inns, the rapidly expanding pub restaurant group, is working with Derby College Group (DCG) to upskill and develop its staff as the hospitality sector prepares to reopen on May 17.
Around 50 staff – a quarter of the company’s 200-strong workforce – have received training in areas such as food safety and customer service via Roundhouse Thinking, the college’s professional training and executive education provider.
So far, 30 Berkeley Inns’ staff have completed the Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service Principles, and 16 have taken the Level 2 Food Safety award with the college. In addition, premises managers are taking the Personal Licence Holders Level 2 course online, which includes a zoom call and invigilation via webcam.
First established in November 2014, Berkeley Inns now has five characterful pub restaurants across rural Derbyshire and Staffordshire. They are The Horseshoes in Long Lane Village, Derbyshire, the Cock Inn at Mugginton, The Cow at Dalbury Lees, the Meynell Ingram Arms in Hoar Cross and the Bluebell Inn at Kirk Langley, which reopens in June after undergoing renovation and extension.
Erin Harris, Berkeley Inn’s HR manager, said Berkeley Inns had established a good working relationship with the College over the past six months and was impressed with its training programme.
She added: “The team at Roundhouse Thinking are extremely efficient and make the whole process of arranging and delivering staff training so much easier.
“They also brought to our attention the various free and discounted funding streams open to us, such as the Adult Education Budget and the ESF High Level Skills Programme.”
Erin added: “The customer service qualification is online distance learning and conveniently fits in with employees’ home, work and learning commitments. Some of our people are at school, college or university so we don’t want to overload them with more study.
“For the food safety course, staff were able to train in person, at a social distance. We opened one of our pubs, the Cock Inn at Mugginton, and Derby College came out specially to deliver the training.
“Many of our staff already have diplomas and other hospitality industry qualifications but taking this additional training has been a useful refresher for them. It’s helped build their skills and confidence as they return to work after months on furlough.
“It’s been a difficult time for hospitality, but we’ve taken advantage of lockdown to develop our staff and plan to continue working with Roundhouse Thinking.”
For more information about training programmes and funding support available through DCG’s Roundhouse Thinking offer, please visit our dedicated Employers section of our website or email email@example.com