Casual Dining Group (CDG) has launched a programme that has already seen it train nine Syrian refugees to join the hospitality industry.
The operator of about 290 sites under brands including Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Café Rouge, ran the three-week programme in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), World Jewish Relief, and SPS Training Solutions.
The first two weeks focused on theory and skills such as interview training, while the third provided first-hand experience working at a Bella Italia and Café Rouge site in Coventry.
On completion of the programme CDG offered permanent employment to three of the participants, with a further three given provisional offers for when vacancies arise.
Claire Clarke, group HR director at Casual Dining Group, said: “The hospitality industry is a phenomenal place to work that’s inundated with opportunities for driven people, regardless of background. We were delighted to work closely with the DWP, SPS, and World Jewish Relief to pass on our operational expertise and support this worthwhile and progressive initiative.
“As a business, we have created a sophisticated and robust series of training and development programmes to support with the progression of our employees. This programme is a great example of how we can utilise this experience as we look to support people with the necessary skillset to enter the industry.”
The initiative is part of the Specialist Training and Employment Programme run by World Jewish Relief, which supports those who have come to Britain as part of the Home Office’s schemes for vulnerable resettled refugees.
All programmes are tailored to each refugee individually, helping them to develop the skills and identify the opportunities they need to secure sustainable employment.