Contract caterer Talkington Bates has partnered with industry charity Springboard to launch a training programme to give disadvantaged people the chance to learn job skills working as part of its team.
The Talking Voyage initiative aims to deliver a quality programme of structured work experience for people who are often excluded from the jobs market because of their personal circumstances, backgrounds or lifestyle.
The link-up between Talkington Bates and Springboard will give people the chance to learn job skills at sites operated by the independent contract caterer around the country. Some will eventually earn full or part-time positions within the firm.
Fiona Hopkinson, managing director, Talkington Bates Midlands & Care (pictured), said it was a way to give back to the industry and society as a whole.
"Our vision is to get all Talkington Bates sites involved in some way, with the aim of putting 35 people through the programme. This scheme is designed to give an opportunity to some groups in society who are marginalised because of their circumstances, or simply because they face one or more barriers to work," she explained
"The chance to learn catering skills could make a major difference to their lives and give them the inspiration to seek out employment."
Anne Pierce, Springboard chief executive, added: "It is admirable that Talkington Bates has made such a wonderful commitment to helping disadvantaged people in this way through inspiring them to get into the jobs market."
The programme will incorporate the Springboard INSPIRE quality standard kitemark which was developed to meet the need to attract new talent to the industry.
The first "Talking Opportunity" days will take place in Birmingham on 13 June, Wellingborough on 14 June and Southampton on 20 June. Further dates and sites will be announced at a later stage.
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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