Essex Cricket Success Inspires Catering Trainees
Champagne corks have been popping at the County Ground celebrating Essex Cricket’s first County Championship success in 25 years.
Supporting the talented, largely homegrown, young team, an army of young catering staff has been working behind the scenes to ensure fans enjoyed their taste of success in their first season back in the top flight.
Among them was 25-year-old Mark Crabb from Galleywood, who was born the year Essex last won the title.
Mark also seized the opportunity to succeed when he signed up for a ten-week traineeship through Seetec. His traineeship with Essex Cricket’s catering and hospitality team finished earlier this year, and helped him land a part-time job with the club throughout the successful season.
Mark said: “The traineeship started me on the route to employment. I’ve been working with the public and gaining customer service skills. I’ve enjoyed the atmosphere, and it’s definitely helped me a lot.”
Ben Mayo, 24, from Broomfield, completed his Seetec traineeship alongside Mark and was taken on immediately by Essex Cricket. He said: “It’s been great being so busy. I’ve been working in the bar and I’ve learnt a lot. I will continue working for the Club during the winter and I have another part-time kitchen job. I’d like to work full-time and I’d be happy to continue working in hospitality.”
Bradley Sissons, 22, from Maldon, wanted to work in hospitality and his traineeship through Seetec gave him a break into the industry. Bradley is working towards his Level 2 Customer Service qualification, and said: “It’s been very busy because Essex were doing so well. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and I’ve worked in the kitchen and bar, on setting up and on service. We’ve kept busy making things better for the customers.
“I like working at Essex because I get on with everyone and it’s a good environment. It’s my aim to continue with a career in catering.”
Toby McLaren, 24, from Chelmsford, made great progress after his traineeship and was promoted to supervise one of the hospitality marquees during the season. He said: “After I learnt the job, I was given more and more responsibility.
“It’s been a challenge getting everyone working as a team, but it’s rewarding when it all comes together. I’ve learnt the importance of planning, like delegating responsibility for the bar so I can be preparing for food service, and making sure everyone is doing their job.
“With the team doing well, it’s been nice that our customers are enthusiastic about being there and it’s made it easier for us to ensure they have a good experience.”
Essex Cricket Catering manager Nicola Riggs said: “The traineeships with Seetec provide a springboard into the industry – and help us to recruit the staff we need to deliver great hospitality at the County Ground.
“We were happy to employ our former trainees, they have worked really hard this season and have gained valuable experience in all aspects of catering and customer service. They have made great progress towards successful careers in catering.
“Some of the trainees have worked together running one of our hospitality marquees, supervised by Toby McClaren. They have received excellent feedback and have been a credit to the scheme. Bradley has been an absolute star in our quick service restaurant and is in line for a supervisor role.”