Uttoxeter Racecourse on track to recruit 150 staff
AROUND 150 catering staff are being taken on by Uttoxeter Racecourse.
The casual workers are needed to man the venue's new food outlets, which are set to open in time for the Midlands Grand National in March.
Uttoxeter Racecourse had previously contracted out all the catering for the 25 race days and 30 events it hosts each year.
But the new outlets, which will provide a variety of dishes including pizzas, burgers and fish and chips, will all be staffed in-house.
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Positions include, catering assistants, cashiers, chefs, bar staff, team leaders, supervisors, cellar manager and area managers.
Dozens of hopeful applicants braved the wintry weather to turn up for a recruitment event at the weekend, with a further open day planned for Wednesday.
Managers at the racecourse hope to have all staff signed up within a fortnight, so they can be trained up by the end of February.
HR staff manager Jo Craven said: "Because of our new development, we will be taking some of our catering in-house.
"Previously, on race and event days we've had burger vans coming down, and they were contracted out.
"Now we've refurbished a number of retail units, which will be used to house a range of food outlets including gourmet burgers, stone-baked pizzas, pittas, and traditional fish and chips.
"This is going to be really good food we'll be offering, and it's all part of improving the experience for visitors.
"We're looking to take on 150 catering staff on a casual basis. On a typical race day we'll need up to 70, but for our biggest event, the Midlands Grand National in March, we'll need 150.
"We are primarily looking for people who are well-presented and who have the right attitude. That's more important than experience, as we can train people up to work tills and serve food."
More than 100,000 people attend meetings at Uttoxeter Racecourse each year.
The venue also hosts a number of non-racing events including the Miss Staffordshire beauty pageant and Staffordshire Classic Car and Bike Show.
Many of those who went along to Saturday's recruitment event were teenagers looking for casual employment to help them through their studies.
Fifteen-year-old Ewan Thacker, from Uttoxeter, said: "Hopefully I'll be going into the sixth form next year, so I'm looking for some work that will help me get through that.
"I'm going for one of the portering jobs."
His dad Robert Thacker, aged 45, added: "I think it's good that the racecourse is recruiting, especially at a time like this.
"Hopefully a lot of the jobs will go to local people."
Lydia Fisher, who attends Moorlands Sixth Form College, said the racecourse would be a conveniently close place to work.
The 17-year-old, from Uttoxeter, said: "It's great that Uttoxeter Racecourse is taking on catering staff. For the last couple of months I have been looking for work. I used to work at Alton Towers, but this will be a lot closer for me."
The second recruitment event will take place on Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm.
For more information contact Jo Craven on 01889 562561.