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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Training opportunities

We have developed a range of subsidised training courses and events for retail businesses in the county covering digital marketing, health and safety, customer services, window displays and food safety.

High street Business Support Programme 

Retail is changing at an unprecedented speed, and with it comes big challenges and opportunities.  Retail needs to become more sustainable as consumers are increasingly demanding more options. In-store and digital need to come together to enhance the customer experience.

Free training 

Free wi-fi is coming into our high streets across County Durham and we want to support you with free training to provide you with the free training to provide you and your staff with new skills, abilities and confidence in delivering your products and services to your customers.

We will be running a series of free virtual workshops.

These workshops will include the following:

  • Digital Media for Business
  • Customer Service and Sales
  • Customers with Disabilities
  • Dementia Awareness (for both employers and employees)
  • Customer Service across Cultures
  • Level 2 Food Safety
  • Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Level 2 Certificate in Retail
  • Level 2 Certificate in Customer Service
  • Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality
  • Developing Teamwork
  • Dealing with difficult customers

Workshop content

Session 1 - Digital Marketing

  • The digital revolution; what do you sell, visibility and viability.
  • Know your customer; market segmentation, customer service, customer loyalty.
  • Digital marketing.
  • Collecting data.
  • Loyalty schemes.

Session 2 - Develop your business online

  • The marketing mix; branding; advertising.
  • Completing SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis to develop your marketing plan.
  • Digital campaigns; business benefits.
  • Websites: factors to consider, online solutions, SEO (search engine optimisation).

Session 3 - Using social media to grow your business

  • Website launch plan.
  • Options and benefits of using social media.
  • Using hashtags.
  • Cyber security and digital planning.

Customer Service and Sales

A two hour workshop, covering the following:

  • To provide your staff with a toolkit to improve sales, and the skills to provide a great customer service.
  • To find out the type of salesperson they are and how they can build on their strengths.

Customers with Disabilities

 A two hour workshop, covering the following: 

  • To provide an understanding of equality legislation.
  • Use correct terminology and behaviour.
  • Creating and improving the customer's journey.

Dementia Awareness

A two hour workshop for employees, covering the following.

  • Understand the effects of dementia.
  • What you can do to support customers with dementia.

A two hour workshop for employees, covering the following.

  • Understand the effects of dementia.
  • What your business can do to support customers with dementia.

Customer Service across Cultures

A two hour workshop, covering the following:

  • Understand the effects of dementia.
  • Useful links for further information.
  • What your business can do to support people with dementia.

Level 2 Food Safety

A one day course covering the following:

  • The importance of food safety, food safety laws and legal responsibilities of food handlers.
  • Types of contamination and the associated risks, e.g. Food poisoning, Foodborne illnesses.
  • An introduction to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
  • Personal hygiene, work flow, work surfaces and equipment.
  • Cleaning and disinfection. waste disposal, and pest control.
  • Safe food handling practices including time and temperature controls.
  • Stock control procedures.

Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work

A one day course, covering the following:

  • The roles and responsibilities of an emergency first aider.
  • Assessing an incident and managing an unresponsive casualty.
  • CPR and defibrillation.
  • Recovery Position.
  • Choking; Seizures; Shock.
  • Wounds and bleeding and minor injuries, including cuts, grazes and bruises.

Level 2 Certificate in Retail

This qualification aims to provide regulation to those learners able to demonstrate competence against the occupational standards defined for retail skills at Level 2 and covers the following elements:

  • Confirm competence against the standards for retail at level 2.
  • Develop transferable skills valued by employers such as customer service, team work and communication.
  • Develop skills in more specialist areas depending on their area of interest or work, including food and drink, fashion and bakery.

Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Customer Service

This qualification covers the following elements:

  • Provide learners with the underpinning knowledge that is required by employees to work in a range of different environments within a customer service role.
  • Develop essential knowledge of how to carry out customer service tasks, such as how to manage information and supporting events.
  • Know how to apply their knowledge in a variety of industries and job roles.

Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality

This qualification covers the following elements:

  • Hospitality services within the retail and commercial enterprise sector.
  • Provide opportunities to acquire a number of practical and technical skills.
  • Prepare learners for working in the hospitality industry where they would be expected to undertake a range of duties, including serving customers, preparing and cooking food, serving drinks, reception, cleaning and preparing rooms.

All of the above are funded opportunities for retail businesses.

To book your place please contact us.

If you are an employer and would like to discuss any training requirements, please contact us.

Contact us
Community Economic Development
03000 267 967
Our address is:
  • Council Offices
  • Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ

Durham Employment and Skills Service
03000 266 644