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FREE ONLINE COURSES TO SUPPORT STIRLING BUSINESSES LAUNCHED BY BID 

New online courses including Natasha’s Law on allergen labelling have been launched on Stirling BID’s training platform. 

The essential courses support business owners by covering training costs for employees and more than 2,000 people have enrolled since the initiative was set up two years ago. 

This month, level three courses have been added to the programme as well as Natasha’s Law – also known as the UK Food Information Amendment – and training in Pest Control. 

Understanding RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations) for both employers and employees is also now available for enrolment. 

The team at Go Forth Stirling BID established the online platform in April 2020 to offer business owners the opportunity for flexible, cost-free training. 

Since then, 2,366 people have enrolled for the diverse range of more than 20 CPD-accredited courses which include Food Safety in Catering, Fire Safety, Crisis Training and GDPR. 

The programme is particularly aimed at the city’s hospitality sector, which was hit hard by pandemic restrictions, and includes the Alcohol Licensing Awareness (Scotland) training course which is mandatory for all staff involved in serving or selling alcohol. 

Danielle McRorie-Smith, Project Director at Go Forth Stirling, said: “We are thrilled with the success of the training platform which has seen excellent take-up among our traders over the past two years. 

“We plan to continue the training programme into our second five-year term and will keep introducing new courses which are beneficial to business owners. 

“We’re pleased to add Natasha’s Law which is extremely useful in giving staff and employers an awareness of the changes introduced to protect allergy sufferers and how they should be implemented. 

“The RIDDOR course is also an important one which provides clarity about how and when to log serious accidents and incidents at the workplace with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). 

“It delivers information which is essential for all types of businesses and means we can lend a helping hand by offering the course for free. 

“We’ve also now updated the current Level 1 & 2 courses to Level 3 which allows progression for employees and makes life easier for business owners when it comes to providing what can be very costly training.” 

Natasha’s Law was implemented following the death of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who suffered a severe allergic reaction to a pre-packed baguette. 

It requires food outlets to provide full ingredient lists with clear allergen information on labelling for prepackaged direct sale foods. 

Details of this course and all the available training options are available on the Go Forth Stirling website – www.goforthstirling.co.uk/online-training 

Mark Crawford, who runs family restaurant Tutti Pizza, is among Stirling business owners who have benefited from the training scheme.

He said: “We have all used the programme for various courses, including food hygiene and alcohol training, and it really has been an invaluable resource to have available to us.

“It has saved the business money and it’s great for staff to be able to complete courses at a time which suits them and at their own pace.

“It’s a very flexible programme and staff can choose options which interest them, such as mental health awareness, in addition to the mandatory courses which is great for self-improvement and building a team.”

The training platform is among the many projects and initiatives established by Go Forth Stirling during its initial five-year term.

The not-for-profit company is now asking city centre businesses to vote ‘Yes’ to a second term which would begin in September.

Go Forth recently launched a five-year plan setting out its future aims and detailing its achievements including the introduction of free public Wi-Fi, the team of Street Ambassadors and a variety of business grant schemes.

The renewal ballot runs for several weeks with the results due in early July.

A successful result will see Go Forth continue to support more than 600 businesses in the BID zone with a key objective of increasing visitors to Stirling and devising campaigns to make the city a more welcoming destination for businesses and shoppers alike. 

For more information visit www.goforthstirling.co.uk

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