Casual Dining Group completes pilot of refugee work experience programme

Casual Dining Group (CDG) has completed a pilot programme that helps Syrian refugees gain skills and experience to work in the hospitality industry. The programme, run in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions, World Jewish Relief and SPS Training Solutions, saw nine refugees undergo three weeks’ training that included work at Bella Italia and Café Rouge in Coventry.

CDG has offered jobs to three of the participants, with a further three given provisional offers for when vacancies arise. There are now talks about widening the programme.

CDG group HR director Claire Clarke said: “We have created a sophisticated and robust series of training and development programmes to support the progression of our employees. This programme is a great example of how we can use this experience as we look to support people with the necessary skillset to enter the industry.”

The initiative, the first of its kind in the hospitality industry, forms part of the Specialist Training and Employment Programme run by World Jewish Relief, which operates in Coventry and Yorkshire, with programmes tailored to each refugee.

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