Fully funded training puts Lincolnshire hotel on the road to WorldHost recognition

The Challenge

The Kenwick Park Estate, near Louth, is a 34 bedroom hotel and lodge complex with spa and golf course set in 320 acres of woodlands, parks and grounds. Established in 1991 by Mr Flynn the hotel is the perfect venue for every occasion.

To ensure customers receive the service they expect at the country house hotel members of staff undertake rigorous training. To recognise this commitment to customer service Kenwick Park Estate is working towards WorldHost recognition. Initially created in Canada to train volunteers and staff for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and used by contractors and businesses working for the London Olympics 2012, it has now been adopted as the UK customer service standard for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries.

To gain WorldHost recognition at least 50% of front line staff have to complete accredited WorldHost training but Kenwick Park Estate aims to go further by training all new members of staff to ensure a consistently high level of customer service. However, finding training tailored to meet the company’s specific needs can be a challenge.

The Solution

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) project offers fully funded training designed to help small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) fill skill gaps, raise productivity and boost business growth. In fact, almost £6 million is now available for SMEs in Greater Lincolnshire for training.

It is co-financed through the European Union’s European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency and is available for SMEs seeking non-compulsory work-based training to support their business growth plan.

Research has found that employees that undertake non-compulsory work-related training do their jobs better and are more satisfied with their work but a lack of time and possible costs can act as barriers to accessing training. The Skills Support for the Workforce project is designed to address these challenges.

Fully Funded Training

Melissa Watson, General Manager of Kenwick Park Hotel, said the WorldHost training offered through SSW and delivered by First College had been a great starting point. “This training has helped to get everyone on the same page,” explained Melissa. “In the Training Needs Assessment skill gaps in customer service were identified. This training has given our staff the right skills to promote the business in a uniformed way and deliver a consistent level of service to customers.

“Some members of staff are looking at further training, there will be ongoing training to develop skills and sustain our high level of service and we have plans for all new staff to complete the WorldHost training. In addition, the company is now applying for WorldHost recognition,” added Melissa.

WorldHost recognition demonstrates that a business has developed a culture of excellent service and also shows that it is willing to invest in staff members’ professional development. It is just one example of the training offered to SMEs through the SSW.

Ebrahim Dockrat, External Funding Director of Calderdale College, prime contractor for the project highlighted the SSW benefits: “We offer a range of flexible, bespoke training plans designed to help your business grow. By training your staff you can improve your ability to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, nurture a leadership team for the future and make you an employer of choice for emerging talent.

“As this training is funded with European money this is the last project of its kind,” added Mr Dockrat. “This funding is only available until July 2018 and so it’s a case of get it whilst you still can.”

For more information on the Skills Support for the Workforce project and to see if your business is eligible for fully funded training please visit http://ssw.fundingunit.org.uk/