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York College

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York College has worked with a group of local unemployed people, preparing them for job applications and interviews to work in catering roles at John Lewis’ new store at the Vangarde Shopping Park, Monks Cross.


Working alongside Job Centre Plus (JCP) and Learning City York, the College led a pre-employment training course to support the unemployed with job applications, potentially preparing them for a career in catering and hospitality at John Lewis.

The students, recruited by JCP, studied a bespoke training package featuring relevant units to the catering roles offered at the John Lewis store. Sessions included: career planning and applications, interview skills, communication in the workplace, positive attitudes and behaviours at work, customer service and interpersonal skills, as well as appropriate NVQ hospitality units.

Georgina from Acomb said: “The course was a positive experience for me. Having been unemployed for a few years the course taught me to approach job applications differently. I had been applying for jobs and getting nowhere, with no luck getting interviews. Whilst on this course I got two interviews in just one week! I also enjoyed the social side of College too, simply having the opportunity to interact with others in the same situation as myself really helped my self-confidence. Also, the tutors were brilliant, they were so supportive, making every effort to help the class prepare for job applications and interviews.”

Project Manager Sue Newton-Brown commented: “The College put an excellent training package together for John Lewis, allowing unemployed people to feel positive about looking for work, applying for jobs and attending interviews. The course, combined with support from JCP, Learning City York and York College, enabled students to gain a good overview of the skills required for the catering roles advertised at John Lewis and a set of relevant qualifications to support their applications. It also gave them a sense of achievement and ownership of their individual skills. Following on from the success of this particular course, York College hopes to offer more sector based work academies in the future.”

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