While for many Hull is on the up with new shopping centres, bars and its City of Culture 2017 status, there is still a staggering 21.3% of ‘workless households’ across the city, with around 5% of the population unemployed.
One of Hull’s strongest economies has traditionally been in food manufacturing, and the city is home to leading names, including Aunt Bessie’s, Cranswick Plc and Greencore. It is also well known as a base for fish processing and Jacksons bakery; for many stalwart Hull residents, these organisations have provided a career and a livelihood.
National training provider, Remit Food, has been working with Hull’s Job Centre Plus and various employers to support people to return to employment and a career in food. This is having a real impact, with 82% of learners going through a specialist programme, finding a job in a professional kitchen.
Remit offers funded options for those looking to secure training and future employment. Its programmes gave unemployed people across the city the chance to attend a three or six week programme, designed to equip them with the skills to secure employment and qualifications.
Angie Linford, a Development Coach for Remit, runs a six-week programme from Remit’s dedicated Food Skills Academy in Malmo Food Innovation Park. Working alongside Job Centre Plus, Angie introduces local unemployed people to a programme in Professional Cookery, helping learners achieve a recognised qualification.
Angie added. “This programme has changed people’s lives. People join our programmes here at Malmo Road and walk into jobs with around 82% of our learners going onto a job in professional cookery. Part of the course we offer is dedicated to help learners with job applications and support them to understand the type of career and work setting they want to be in.”
Some learners who are at the three-week stage of their course have showcased their skills so far, with an impressive spread of cakes and pasties. Young mother of two, Kelly Matthews, had previously tried a career in hairdressing but it wasn’t for her. Not knowing what to do and having to work around her children, she was recommended for the programme by Job Centre Plus. Kelly is now applying for kitchen work in nurseries to fit her desired working pattern.
Ross Martin, a university graduate struggling in the jobs market had not previously settled into work. With an artistic background, he has now brought his skills into cake making and is now considering the next steps for a course in cake design. Other learners had dreams of owning their own cafés or travelling to America to share their skills.
Remit Food works with both those looking to get into work and employers to support recruitment by helping fill skills gaps across the food and hospitality sector. Anyone interested in future opportunities can contact Remit on 0115 975 9550 or visit the website for more information: www.remit.co.uk