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NOW Group Academy Participants Secure Employment with Henderson Foodservice


young man in food warehouse in Northern Ireland

Completing the employment Academy has made such a difference in my life and has equipped me with all the skills I need to carve out a successful career in a field that I’m truly interested in, said Patrick Holmes, one of four NOW Group participants that have gone on to secure full-time employment with Henderson Foodservice. He was speaking after completing the employment academy through the strategic partnership between Hendersons and NOW Group.


Launched in May 2022, the Academy consisted of 12-weeks classroom-based learning before the participants progressed to the Henderson Foodservice facility, where they developed their understanding of warehouse essential skills, health and safety and manual handling. Alongside Patrick, Iain Van Maaren, Bailey Logan and Billy Allen also graduated from the NOW Group Academy and as a result have achieved full-time employment within the logistics department.


Reflecting on his experience, Patrick said: “The NOW Group training Academy was the perfect opportunity for me to take the next step in my career, to learn all the necessary skills and to receive on-the-job training and support. Throughout the duration of the Academy, my confidence has grown immensely and I’m so proud to be a part of the team at Henderson Foodservice.”


According to Sean Hanna, Programme Manager at NOW Group, Academies such as these not only offer participants employment opportunities but are vital to help local employers combat recruitment issues.


“At NOW Group, we work closely with local employers to understand the challenges they’re facing and one issue we hear time and time again is the difficulty recruiting skilled staff that are ready for the world of work,” Sean explained.


“Our training Academies are developed specifically to meet the needs of employers and participants alike. Through the Academies, businesses are able to recruit from a pool of well-rounded staff that are fully trained, enthusiastic, dedicated and hard working; and participants can further their career by learning new skills and developing their confidence.” Due to the success of this project, it’s hoped that a second year of the training academy will be rolled out in 2023, to help support Henderson Foodservice’s recruitment stream.

“With the help of our strategic partners, including Hendersons Foodservice, in 2022 alone, we supported over 1,500 participants into training and employment opportunities with 180 participants securing paid employment,” Sean concluded.


Meanwhile, Liam McGarry, Logistics Manager at Henderson Foodservice added: “For us, the training Academy with the NOW Group was a win-win for all parties.


“Being able to recruit a team of employees that are fully trained with all the necessary skills can often be a challenge. The Academy allowed us to ensure that our recruits were fully prepared for the roles through a mixture of classroom learning and first-hand experience within our facility.


“Over the past year, our four new recruits have performed exceptionally well and we’re looking forward to watching them grow and develop even further in the future.” Alongside the training Academy, Henderson Foodservice also offered its support at the recent NOW Group Graduation ceremony, which was held on Wednesday 29th March, donating food and chefs to cook for 200+ guests on the day.


The NOW Group hosts a number of training Academies across various sectors including business administration, health and social care, IT and customer service to name but a few. For more information, on our services and upcoming academies visit www.nowgroup.org.



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