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Tailored training helps locals get hired at new seafood restaurant

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An intensive training programme helped Weymouth’s new Rockfish seafood restaurant to hit the ground running.

Rockfish, owned by restaurateur Mitch Tonks, worked with employment and skills specialist Seetec Pluss to develop a tailored four-day programme for local participants covering the core principles of working in hospitality and catering.

Ten people completed the course, which included customer service, teamwork, health and safety and a vital GCSE-equivalent qualification in Food Hygiene and Safety.

Following recruitment interviews, four participants progressed to Rockfish’s induction day, with two now working with the Rockfish team at Weymouth. Tim Whitlock (pictured second from left on Rockfish’s induction day) was taken on as a Kitchen Porter and said: “My job is going really well, I’ve met some nice people and I’m enjoying getting a pay cheque at the end of the month. I enjoyed the food tasting session, the food is delicious.”

Another participant on the course said: “I enjoyed the training week and the company of the other participants. I am so pleased that I passed all of the course.”

Carly Gadsden-Mellowship, people and training manager from Rockfish said: “At Rockfish we believe in opportunities for everyone. Training and development is at the heart of everything we do and we really spend time focusing on it so that people love what they do.

“Working with the team at Seetec Pluss has been a great experience for our new opening at Weymouth.”

Andrea Mahn from Seetec Pluss said: “I was really proud to be part of this success story. The course was designed with Rockfish to give participants all of the core principles required to work in hospitality. They also received interview preparation techniques ready for their interview with Rockfish.

“Ten participants went on to pass the course and those who were not chosen to work at Rockfish still gained the skills to prepare them to enter the workplace. It was great to see them shine with confidence by day five!”

One of the participants gained employment as a cleaner at another outlet in Weymouth.

Rockfish restaurants in Devon and Dorset specialise in serving fresh local and sustainable seafood and staff are trained to be knowledgeable about the daily choices and cooking methods being used.

Andrea said: “Seetec Pluss is excited about the prospect of working with Rockfish in the future as Rockfish is planning to open a new restaurant in Poole later this year. We are happy to work with employers to design bespoke programmes which meet their skills needs.”

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