Retail workers and business owners can take advantage of new training courses and workshops on offer.
Durham County Council’s Employment and Skills Service is running the sessions as part of the authority’s Towns and Villages programme. It will focus on areas such as digital media for business, dementia awareness, customer service across cultures and food safety, and will offer Level 2 certificate in retail, customer service and hospitality.
Many of the workshops can be delivered either virtually or face to face and will be available until March 2024, with new dates being added to the programme regularly.
Jonathan Turner, who owns Mr Jacobs Sweet Emporium which is based at Seaham Marina, took part in a digital media virtual training course as part of the programme.
He said: “It’s an amazing course. I have learned so much in a fun, easy way, especially engaging on social media with our audience.
“The course is very interactive with expert clear tuition. The extra reading suggestions and the video suggestions, as well as plenty of examples being given, helped me grasp the material very well.”
Durham County Council’s Towns and Villages programme is aimed at regenerating the county’s towns and villages, enhancing the areas where people live, work and visit. Over the last 10 years the authority has invested £38 million into town centre regeneration. The current investment programme will fund projects to help increase job opportunities, enhance transport infrastructure and housing, and also support the county’s businesses.
The plans include supporting businesses and retailers, making them resilient to change while also creating more and better jobs.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “It is important that we do all we can to help workers and those who own businesses in the retail sector who are keen to build upon their existing skills and this programme has a wide variety of opportunities available to suit different needs.
“I’d encourage anyone working in the retail sector or those who run a business in County Durham to look at what is on offer as part of this programme of courses.”
All training opportunities as part of the programme can be seen at www.durham.gov.uk/article/8151/Training-opportunities while details of other support for retail businesses in County Durham can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/retail