Swilly Group, in partnership with Tech Northwest Skillnet, recently delivered a professional food and beverage service skills training programme through the Job-seekers Support Programme (JSSP) to address hospitality skills shortages in the Donegal region.  Within a week of completing of the course, half (50%) of the 12 candidates had secured employment.

The professional food and beverage service skills training had two key principle themes at its core – Practical Skills Development and Employer Engagement.  Training included customer service, operating payment systems, bar set-up and service skills, wine theory and service, health and safety awareness, cocktail preparation and manual handling.

In order to match candidates to suitable work-placements, the Swilly Group organised a six-course lunch for local hospitality employers, hosted by the trainees.  The event provided a perfect opportunity for candidates to showcase their skills and secure work-placements, with a view to gaining employment.

Colm O’Kane, Manager at Ballyliffen Lodge Hotel attended the showcasing lunch and after taking one of the candidates on for work-placement, went on to offer him paid employment.  He said: “Engaging with this programme has been an excellent vehicle for recruiting new staff.  The lunch gave us the opportunity to see each of the students at work under pressure, providing an excellent platform for assessing the candidates in a realistic work environment.  We need more of these types of programmes in Donegal to help support the great progress that is being made in attracting tourists to the North-West.