Ribble Valley hospitality firms strike gold with free training

19 June 2015

Six Ribble Valley hotel and restaurant businesses have benefited from world-class customer service training as part of a £5.6m workplace training scheme.

Over 30 staff from the businesses, including restaurant managers, food service staff, receptionists and administrators, went through the renowned Welcome Host Gold training which equips learners with the latest customer service skills and is regarded as one of the most effective courses in the industry.

Funding for training was secured through the Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce (LSS) programme which has already helped almost 3,500 of the county’s workers gain new skills and qualifications.

Training organisation The Via Partnership worked in conjunction with Ribble Valley Tourism Association and Ribble Valley Borough Council to deliver the training to staff from Mytton Fold Hotel and Golf Complex, Langho; Bashall Barn, Clitheroe; The Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley; Waddow Hall, Clitheroe; The Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland; and Benedicts of Whalley, Clitheroe.

Helen Aldous, from The Via Partnership, said: “The training will allow greater benefits for the companies taking part, such as enhancing their customers’ experiences and exceeding expectations, as well as building repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations. It will also ensure the businesses gain the competitive edge through excellence in customer service.”

Tom Pridmore, tourism and events officer at Ribble Valley Borough Council, said: “We’ve had some great comments from staff from those businesses that took part in this training. We worked closely with qualifying businesses to identify their skills requirements and, thanks to Lancashire Skills Support for the Workforce, have been able to deliver highly-targeted training at no cost to them.”

Welcome Host Gold is a highly practical customer service training course, using varied active training styles to give participants the skills and knowledge they can immediately use in the workplace. Interactive learning, group exercises, personal action planning and a host of great tips all equip participants to make a real difference to customers' experiences.

Following delivery of the training the learners also undertook workplace observation and written questions with a Via Partnership assessor to enable them to complete the City & Guilds Delivering Customer Service accredited unit (Level 2 Award in Customer Service Delivery).

LSS has been brought together by Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and has been funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

Training has been completed in areas including team leadership, management, accounting, marketing, sales, health and social care, customer service, engineering, manufacturing, catering and hospitality.

In total LSS will support 3,817 employees aged 19 and over who are working in small or medium sized businesses and have a workforce of up to 250 employees. It will run until July 2015 with places allocated to businesses on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested are being urged to act fast as only limited places remain.

Businesses looking to benefit from the programme can find further information and apply through the website www.lancashireskillssupport.co.uk.

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