Six adults with learning disabilities have passed a year-long training course enabling them to gain NVQs in food and beverage.
They have completed on-the-job training and held casual employment contracts at the Riptide Café in Fenton Manor Sports Complex to gain the recognised hospitality qualification delivered by external organisation MARTEC.
Throughout the year they have been supported by the city council’s learning disabilities teams, employment teams, and leisure services staff to develop employment skills and life skills. These include catering and hospitality skills, communicating with the public, managing money, using public transport independently and time management.
As a result of the joined-up working between the two departments, the Riptide Café now has extended opening hours for the public to enjoy a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Councillor Ann James, deputy leader and cabinet member for health and social care said: “Working with the leisure teams has enabled both of our services to grow and develop. It has shown how we really are one council with a vision of helping all of our residents to succeed.
“This initiative has shown that people who have a learning disability bring great value to employers and communities.
“It has been such a success and we are pleased to be welcoming another cohort of people with learning disabilities to experience employment and complete their training at the Riptide Café.
“We are committed to supporting all of our residents to live happy and fulfilling lives.”
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for sport, culture and leisure said:
“This is a fantastic example of two of our service areas coming together to create opportunities for people in our city.
“The scheme has enabled us to build on the leisure facilities we already have in place to make them more accessible to the public and to provide exciting training and employment opportunities.
“I’d like to thank those receiving their qualifications for all of their hard work and to wish them good luck for the future.”
The 2019/20 cohort of individuals completing their NVQs in food and beverage have started their training at the Riptide Café this week.
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