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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Mid and East Antrim’s Labour Market Partnership Restaurant Academy serves up great results

Participants in Mid and East Antrim’s Labour Market Partnership programme with certificates

Participants in Mid and East Antrim’s Labour Market Partnership programme

Mid and East Antrim’s Labour Market Partnership recently provided an informative training opportunity for keen participants to develop their Food Services skills through a four-week ‘Restaurant Academy’ delivered by Northern Regional College.

The Mid and East Antrim Labour Market Partnership which creates targeted employment action plans for the area, is funded by the Department for Communities and allows for collaboration at local and regional level to support people towards and into work.

Eleven local students completed the four-week ‘Restaurant Academy’ and achieved their Level 2 Food Safety Certificate, ICQ Level 2 Award in Principles of Customer Service in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism and Level 2 World Host Certificate. 

The participants were given the opportunity to gain practical experience in areas such as preparing, serving and clearing a restaurant and an introduction to barista and wine training.  

They also received one to one mentoring support for the duration of the Academy. 

On completion, participants were guaranteed interviews with Ballymena based hospitality companies and MEA Labour Market Partnership would like to thank those companies for the support and opportunity offered to the students. 

Testament to the success of the programme and dedication of the participants, 10 of the those have attended interviews with seven being offered employment with their host employers; and one participant taking part in the Academy was upskilling and has secured additional hours with her employer.

Northern Regional College staff are continuing to  provide employability support to the remaining three candidates.

Alderman Andrew Wilson, Chair of Environment & Economy Committee, said:

“I was pleased to learn of the success of this Labour Market Partnership initiative. This has been a fantastic opportunity for local students to develop their skills within food services and have an opportunity to avail of local employment opportunities.  


“Well done to the 11 students on gaining their certificates – it is a case of hard work and dedication paying off and this vital experience will bring a bright future in this industry.”

For further information on the forthcoming programmes and events for the year ahead please visit or contact the team on:



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