Rugby businesses are being offered free, Olympic-standard customer service training in order to boost the visitor experience during and beyond the Rugby World Cup.
Warwickshire County Council has teamed up with workforce development charity, People First, to offer the prestigious WorldHost Ambassador training – the same programme used to prepare staff and volunteers for the London 2012 Olympics.
Around 100 volunteers in and around Rugby have already undertaken the WorldHost Ambassador training in preparation for Rugby 2015, funded by Rugby Borough Council.
Now businesses, such as Garden Gate on Regent Street, are enlisting for the programme.
Cllr Philip Johnson, Chair of Warwickshire County Council’s Communities Overview and Scrutiny, said: “The WorldHost Programme is internationally recognised and brings with it a sought after badge of honour. I hope as many businesses as possible will take advantage of the free training. This is just one of a number of measures that the County Council is delivering in support of the Rugby World Cup as we are keen to capture the economic benefits of Rugby being granted ‘Proud Home’ status by England 2015.”
Other initiatives include the installation of free public WiFi in the town centre and contributing to improvements in the town centre as part of the tourism ‘Better Welcome’ agenda.
Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, said: “This free training is a real coup for Rugby businesses and I hope that many will sign up to the Ambassador programme. As the birthplace of the game we can expect many visitors to our town as part of the Rugby World Cup celebrations and this will provide a fantastic opportunity for Rugby to showcase the many wonderful things that it has to offer. I am working hard to ensure that Rugby makes the most of the tournament and the Ambassadors programme will go a long way to ensuring that the many visitors to our town receive the warmest of welcomes.”
Cllr Yousef Dahmash, added: “As a County Councillor and board member for Rugby First I am really pleased that we are able to offer this opportunity to front-line service staff in Rugby. Our town centre currently faces a number of challenges, which is why the County Council is keen to support initiatives that directly assist High Street businesses to grow and prosper.”
The half-day sessions will take place on Tuesday 15, Tuesday 22 and Thursday 24 September from 9.30am to 1pm at the Benn Hall in Rugby.