Lord Haldon Country Hotel in Exeter, part of the Best Western chain of hotels, has benefitted from funded courses to train and upskill staff working across the property.

Five members of staff from different areas of the business, including hospitality, front of house and reception, have undertaken accredited courses leading to recognised qualifications. Delivered by skills specialist Seetec Outsource, the training has been designed to meet business needs and ensure that the hotel continues to maintain the high quality standards associated with the Best Western brand.

The courses have been delivered on site at the hotel over a period of several weeks, with a flexible approach to suit staff shift patterns and minimise disruption to business operations. They have focussed on building some of the key knowledge and skills needed within the hospitality industry, including food safety for catering, food allergen awareness and conflict management.

The interactive training sessions have been designed to motivate and engage employees, building confidence and supporting them to improve working practices within their teams. Feedback has been positive, and team members involved in training have welcomed the opportunity to develop in their roles.

Courses are funded through Devon County Council’s ‘Open Up To Skills’ initiative, which is supporting Devon’s catering, hospitality, leisure, retail and tourism sectors to rebuild workforce skills following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With businesses still struggling to recruit and retain staff, these funded training opportunities can help them to fill skills gaps while supporting individuals to retrain or progress in work.

Simon Adams, an employee at Lord Haldon Country Hotel, is one of the learners who recently completed a series of training courses with Seetec Outsource through Devon County Council’s funded scheme. Having worked at the hotel for more than 17 years, he was initially nervous about learning new skills, but found that he gained a great deal from the experience. He said:

“Taking the courses and passing all the exams has been a real achievement. Retaining information is a little harder as you get older, but our tutor Jodie made the sessions fun, informative and engaging. This makes learning a lot easier.

“The highlight for me has been the conflict management course. We learned some really useful techniques which I’ll be able to apply in my front of house role.”

Paco Bayona-Ruz, General Manager at Lord Haldon County Hotel, feels that the training provided will have a positive impact on the business. He explained:

“The funded training available through Open Up To Skills has been a fantastic opportunity for us as a business. Upskilling our staff and supporting them to achieve a recognised qualification means that we can provide better levels of service for our customers. Helping employees to progress in their career also ensures that they feel valued, and this helps with staff retention.”

More information about the funded training available to employers through Devon County Council’s Open Up To Skills initiative can be found here.

If you’re an individual looking to progress in your current role or reskill for a new role you can find out more about funded training opportunities here.