The Armagh City Hotel is thrilled to celebrate the recent successful completion of Level 2 NVQ Diploma programme, by two dedicated members of their Housekeeping team.

Armagh City Hotel Housekeepers, Ellie McManus (left) and Krisitana Caunane (right) with their NVQ Level 2 Diplomas in Housekeeping

The hotel has a long-standing partnership with People 1st, the program facilitator, and takes pride in aiding its valued employees’ professional progression through various industry-specific courses. The latest achievers are Housekeepers Ellie McManus and Kristiana Caunane, both receiving NVQ Level 2 Diplomas in Housekeeping.

Armagh City Hotel delighted with the achievements!

Regarding the girls’ accomplishments, Senior HR Advisor Siobhan Maxwell expressed her joy, stating,

” I’ve been so happy seeing the girls complete their NVQs – both girls have worked exceptionally hard on their course with their People’s 1st tutor Colleen. We started working with People 1st last year, and we have had eight employees, including managers part take in different qualifications. Completing these courses as you work has been amazing, People 1st have been so flexible with working around the girls’ work schedule. All classes and assessments take place during working hours and that has been a huge draw for our participants as some may not have the option to complete a qualification outside of working hours “

The new All Age Apprenticeships will also be so positive for the hospitality sector as it will allow employees who were outside of the age criteria to take part now in an Apprenticeship and gain a qualification, as Siobhan explains:

 ” When the girls commenced the course, apprenticeships were only open to 16-24 years olds, however, apprenticeships now have no restrictions and are open to all ages, so we are hoping to offer NVQ programmes across all age groups within the hotel to existing and new employees. The courses can be tailored to each participants individual needs, depending on their current role and what they see their role developing into through additional optional modules. Providing these courses for our existing and new employees is our way of supporting them in developing their careers with us.”

Management team of Armagh City Hotel toasts to great success!

General Manager Henk Compier echoed the sentiments, presenting Ellie and Kristiana with celebratory Prosecco to mark their achievements. Henk emphasised his pride in the girls and their growth over the past two years, attributing it to the course’s impact on their confidence and skills within the hotel.

“We are so proud of Ellie and Kristiana on the completion of their NVQ’s, both girls have been with us just over two years and in the last year in particular their confidence has increased immensely, that I believe is down to participating in the course – the knowledge and the skills they have gained from the course has helped them tremendously in their roles within the hotel, I can see both of them progressing through the ranks within the hotel.” 

The team at the Armagh City hotel really feel that the difference has come from the fact that the training is able to be undertaken during working hours while the team members are able to earn while the learn and allows them to gain a qualification while they are gaining solid experience and a salary too, helping to alleviate some of the pressures that come with a return to studying!

“That is the reason we work with People’s 1st in delivering these courses, on the job training and development is so important, however, this course and the subsequent qualification has given both girls unmatched knowledge and confidence. Once again, I am so proud of them both.”

General Manager Henk Compier

Onwards and upwards at the Armagh City Hotel for the girls!

Both Kristiana and Ellie are so delighted to achieve this qualification and know that it is a great step on their career path and are looking forward to implementing everything that they have learned over the past year. Commenting on her experience of the course, Kristiana said: 

” It was different because I didn’t know you couldn’t do something like this with work. Our tutor Colleen from People 1st, created such a bond with us and there were things that I didn’t know going into the programme and now I do so it’s nice to know that I have this foundation now for the future.”

Kristiana’s department colleague and classmate Ellie shared a similar experience, stating:

“It was such a new experience. I was learning things that I thought I knew already, but I didn’t. We had a great tutor and created a bond and it was actually really nice. The NVQ Level 2 is better for the future. If I wanted to move on or move up in hospitality it will help with that.”

You can find out more about the Armagh City Hotel on their website and you can also find out more about the wide variety of Hospitality NVQ’s that you can do with People 1st, on our website

In conclusion, both Ellie and Kristiana’s success stories underscore the hotel’s commitment to employee development through tailored courses, fostering confidence, and knowledge crucial for career progression.

information about the Ramore chef academy school, the left side shows chefs plating up food and the right of the flyer lays out the benefits you get from attending the 4 week course

Are you ready to turn your passion for cooking into a sizzling career? Look no further! The Ramore Chef Academy is here, and it’s bigger and better than ever before! If you’ve ever dreamt of donning a chef’s hat and creating culinary masterpieces, this is your golden ticket.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Ramore Chef Academy:

When: The Chef Academy kicks off on Monday, October 2nd, 2023, and runs until Friday, October 27th, 2023. Get ready to spice up your life for four thrilling weeks!

Time: We know you’re eager to dive into the world of gourmet cooking, so our academy runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. It’s a full immersion into the culinary arts!

Where: All the magic happens at the stunning Ramore Restaurants, located at 1 Harbour Road, Portrush, Co Antrim BT56 8DF. Prepare to be inspired by the breathtaking seaside views as you hone your culinary skills.

Deadline Alert: Don’t miss your chance to be part of this culinary adventure! The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Monday, September 25th, 2023. Time is ticking, so don’t let this opportunity simmer away.

Master Chefs at Your Service: Our training is in the capable hands of People 1st, renowned experts in culinary education. You’ll learn from the best to become the best!

Why Choose Us?

At the Ramore Chef Academy, we take pride in transforming food enthusiasts into culinary maestros. Here’s why you should choose us for your culinary journey:

Hands-On Experience: We believe in learning by doing. Get ready to roll up your sleeves, chop, sauté, and plate your way to becoming a pro chef.

Elite Instructors: Our team of instructors brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. They are dedicated to shaping you into a top-notch culinary artist.

Inspiring Location: Located in picturesque Portrush, our academy offers you the chance to train in a beautiful coastal setting. The ambiance alone is sure to ignite your creativity!

Internship Opportunities: The Ramore Restaurants are more than just a training ground; they could be your future workplace! We offer internships to our standout graduates.

Networking Galore: Rub shoulders with industry professionals, make lasting connections, and get a taste of what the culinary world has to offer.

Ready to Take the Plunge? Become the next NI masterchef!!

Apply now by clicking on the link below to embark on the culinary adventure of a lifetime:

Ramore Chef Academy Application Form|:

Learn More: For additional information about the Ramore Chef Academy, check out our webpage:

Ramore Chef Academy Webpage:

Don’t let your culinary dreams simmer away on the back burner. Join us at the Ramore Chef Academy and let your passion for food sizzle into a rewarding career and follow us on Facebook to hear about more opportunities in your area for similar academies as we make announcements regularly across our Northwest Facebook page- click the facebook link below.

Did you know that People 1st are hospitality and catering training specialists?

We offer a wide variety of training courses across Northern Ireland for various roles within hospitality and training, so if you work in this sector or are an employer then please reach out to our team as we would be really happy to help get your staff certified at a range of levels, across a range of courses. You can check out some of the courses that we offer here:


Apprenticeships have long been recognised as a valuable pathway to acquiring new skills, advancing one’s career, and boosting employability. Traditionally, these programs were often associated with younger individuals aged 16-24, looking to kickstart their professional journey. However, times have changed, and the doors to apprenticeships have swung open for individuals of all ages. The Department for the Economy’s ApprenticeshipsNI programme is leading the way, embracing a diverse pool of applicants. 

Expanding Horizons: No Age Criteria

Gone are the days when apprenticeships were exclusively for school leavers or young adults. Now, there is no age limit to who can benefit from these invaluable programs. Whether you’re in your twenties or your fifties, if you’re eager to learn, develop new skills, and enhance your career prospects, apprenticeships are open to you. This inclusive approach ensures that everyone has a chance to grow professionally, regardless of their age.

Our Areas of Specialisation

At People 1st, a proud provider of the Apprenticeships NI programme under the Department for the Economy, we offer a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities in ten specialised areas. These areas cover various industries, catering to a diverse set of interests and career aspirations. Here are the ten areas we specialise in:

  • Health and Social Care
  • Hair, Barbering and Beauty
  • Transport and Distribution
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Business Administration and IT
  • Children’s Care Learning and Development
  • Construction and Building Services
  • Retail and Customer Care
  • Team Leading and Management
  • Finance

Diving Deeper into Apprenticeships

Now that you’re aware of the diverse fields we cater to, let’s delve into what an apprenticeship entails and why it’s a fantastic opportunity for individuals of all ages:

  • Hands-on Learning: Apprenticeships are characterised by learning on the job. This means you gain practical experience and skills directly related to your chosen field.
  • Earn While You Learn: One of the key advantages of apprenticeships is that you earn a wage while you’re training. This can help alleviate financial pressures while you pursue your qualification.
  • Industry-Recognised Qualifications: Successful completion of an apprenticeship often results in industry-recognised qualifications, such as NVQs, which can significantly boost your career prospects.
  • Mentorship and Support: You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with experienced professionals who can guide and mentor you throughout your apprenticeship journey.
  • Career Progression: Apprenticeships can lead to fulfilling, long-term careers. Many individuals who start as apprentices go on to become leaders in their respective fields.
  • Adaptability: Regardless of your prior experience or age, apprenticeships can be tailored to suit your needs and learning pace.
Would you love to support those in your local community

How to start an Apprenticeship with People 1st

If you’re interested in embarking on an apprenticeship journey, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated team. Our experts can guide you through the application process, answer your questions, and help you select the apprenticeship program that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Whether you’re looking to enhance your current career or make a fresh start, there’s an apprenticeship opportunity waiting for you. Find out further information here and who to contact in your sector:

Apprenticeships are no longer reserved for the young; they are a universal path to skill development, career advancement, and personal growth. As a provider for the Department for the Economy’s Apprenticeships NI programme, we are proud to offer these opportunities to individuals of all ages. So, if you’re ready to take the next step in your professional journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. Your dream career could be just an apprenticeship away.

Please find the Department for the Economy’s press release announcing the All Age Apprenticeships below:

The Department for Economy announcing the All Age Apprenticships with  two apprentices holding an Northern IreIand map cut out that says 'All Age apprentices on it. Surrounded by a manager and a representative from the Department.
The Department for Economy NI announced All Age Apprenticeships today across Northern Ireland

We have exciting news just released of Hospitality Academy, we are running in partnership with Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council
What is the Hospitality Academy and who is it for? 
The Hospitality Academy will support 30 eligible individuals through a two-week fully funded, bespoke training programme designed to equip participants with the skills, knowledge, experience, and confidence to begin a career within the hospitality and tourism sector. 
What is included? 
✅ Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism sector including overview of service providers and career pathways on offer
✅ Industry site visits and guest speakers
✅ Practical taster sessions in a range of hospitality skills such as food and beverage service, kitchen skills and barista
✅ RSPH Level 2 Award in Food Safety and Hygiene
✅ Employability and mentoring
✅ Guaranteed interviews for live vacancies with top hospitality and tourism employers based in the borough.
Who can apply? 
This opportunity is open to all residents in the borough who are

unemployed, or working 16 hours/week or less, or at risk of redundancy. This course is fully funded so there will be no cost to the participants.

Are you a local hospitality employer? 
If you’re a local employer in the hospitality and tourism sector and would like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you too!
Further information and how to apply? 

To find out more and register for a place contact Charley Riddle on [email protected] or 028 3833 7000 before 1pm on Friday 14 October 2022. The Hospitality Academy will commence on Monday 17 October 2022. 

You can also apply online here directly via this link:

All places on the Hospitality Academy are funded by the Department for Communities through the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership, and the programme is delivered by ourselves, People 1st.

The People 1st Apprenticeship team of Peter, Nadine and Trevor are going to be at the Apprentice Fair at Guildhall Derry on 13th October- find out more about how you can sign up to be an apprentice with us and gain qualifications while you work!

The apprenticeships programme is a fabulous way to ‘earn while you learn’ if you want to get trained and gain qualifications in a vocational area while you work and get paid.

This option really suited current trainee chef Sean Owens, who is studying for his Level 3 apprenticeship with People 1st NorthWest and Browns In Town. Sean loved cooking and while working part time in Browns decided to leave the world of computers to forge a new path way in the culinary arts:
” I was working in IT and decided to go down the chef path as it was much more suited to me. Culinary School was very expensive and the Apprenticeships programme allows me to gather the same skills without any expense. I’d highly recommend it to anyone, the Apprenticeships programmme has given me the opportunity to follow a new career path. “

If you have any questions in the lead up to the event our specialist Nadine Elliott will be happy to answer them, so either email [email protected] or call 07999 025671

You can also watch more about Sean’s story below and find out more about his journey with People 1st and his employer Browns in Town, Derry.