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Work Placement Leads to Tasty Role

Posted on 23 January 2015

Sage Gateshead provides more than just opportunities to enjoy and make music, the venue also provides opportunities for people of all ages to develop and learn new skills thanks to its placement and work experience programme.

Over the last year 60 young people have benefitted from placements and one of the most recent young people to go through this programme impressed his mentors so much he has now secured part time employment.

Alistair Milburn a young man with Down’s Syndrome started a placement with Centerplate, Sage Gateshead’s catering partner in October 2014. The placement was arranged by GATES (Gateshead Access to Employment Service) run by Gateshead Council who contacted Sage Gateshead when they were looking for catering placements for a small group of young people with learning difficulties.

The placement was supported by Strong Voices, a project set up by the Bridge England Network and financed by the Department of Education’s VCS funding programme. This project focuses on work with young people including those with special needs, those in / leaving care, young parents and those classed as NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training).

Alistair completed a 12 week work experience placement which involved undertaking a range of food preparation and service tasks. Centerplate’s team guided, supported and mentored Alistair throughout his placement and at the end of this they offered Alistair part time hours. This employment and travelling to work independently has had a huge impact on Alistair’s confidence and self esteem.

Anthony Hegney, General Manager Centerplate said: “We, Centerplate feel very proud in being able to employ Alistair at Sage Gateshead. When on his work placement he was willing and interested in the job that he was doing and worked well as part of the team. I am sure that he will be an asset to the business going forward.”

Sage Gateshead is committed to supporting the development of everyone interested in the arts and welcomes appropriate requests for work experience or volunteer opportunities. The next round of applications for placements will open on 2nd March for placements starting in May 2015. For more information on placements click here or contact our Placements and Volunteering Coordination on 0191 443 5039.

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