Cooking for clients of Leek's Retreat Bistro and Spa, Amy Wilson needs to be something of an expert on healthy eating.
And, with a City and Guilds NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery under her belt, Amy now feels confident enough to cater for the most discerning of customers at the Mill Street venue. Thanks to free on-the-job training, provided through Skillsbase, the workplace training division of Buxton & Leek College, 27-year-old Amy has gained her qualification without even leaving the kitchen. Janet Greener, an industry experienced assessor with Skillsbase, visited Amy in her workplace each week to guide her through the course which included food safety, handling knives safely, working effectively as part of a hospitality team and producing healthier dishes. After finishing the training in just under a year, Amy realised she had enjoyed it so much that she has enrolled on a further course – a Level 2 certificate in Team Leading to develop her supervisory skills.
She said: "I have spent many years working in kitchens but I really enjoyed refreshing my knowledge and Janet was very flexible in her approach to the training. We got on so well that I never felt nervous when she was around and I am really pleased to have a formal certificate to prove my knowledge."
Janet Greener said: "Amy was so keen and enthusiastic that she was a pleasure to work with. At Skillsbase we are always happy to tailor our courses to what employers need and The Retreat was a lovely place to work."
Retreat proprietor Yvonne Barlow said: "I think the training has really benefited Amy and improved her confidence. Some good ideas have come out of it and we have changed our menu to include more healthy options as we are dealing with people who are naturally very health conscious. I encourage staff to take advantage of the training courses on offer through Skillsbase because I think that it helps them to feel more valued as employees and it boosts their confidence in what they do day to day."
For further details about Skillsbase call the team on 0800 0740099.