General Assistant

Durham, United Kingdom
£17,046 per annum (pro-rata)
27 Jul 2021
End of advertisement period
23 Aug 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

University Catering

Grade 1: - £17,046 per annum (pro-rata)
Fixed Term - Part Time Term Time Only (9 Months)
Contract Duration: 12 Months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 23-Aug-2021, 6:59:00 AM

Durham University Summer Recruitment Campaign. With a new Academic term upon us, we are looking for driven and passionate individuals to join our University facilities teams. We have various opportunities across our teams and colleges, please review our adverts to find out more!

The Department and role purpose

Passionately delivering an outstanding experience”

We are a team of over 500, providing fresh and diverse catering throughout Durham University. This includes college dining halls, college bars, college cafés, visitor attractions and branded retail catering outlets.

Our students are extremely important to us but we also provide catering to University colleagues, commercial guests, and VIPs including royalty.

General Assistants are responsible for supporting a professional, responsive and efficient catering service for students, staff and visitors, ensuring that food production is presented, served, replenished to an exceptional standard and in line with standard operating procedures.

The post holder will also assist with day to day cleaning of kitchen and catering equipment, receipt and storage of goods, checking and signing for deliveries.

Catering team members will be expected to adopt and promote a flexible approach to working, and to undertake any or all of the tasks outlined below regardless of their designated shift.

Successful candidates are expected to promote a positive image of University Catering and Durham University at all times.

Vacancies below:

Please note: we are anticipating a high number of applications for this position, so it may close earlier than the stated date. Early application is therefore advised.

All are currently fixed term for 12 months until Sept 2022

35hr 52 weeks
35hr 32 weeks
32hr 32 weeks
30hr 32 weeks
20hr 32 weeks
16hr 32 weeks
14hr 32 weeks

Core responsibilities:

As part of a team, complete a defined set of tasks or procedures to deliver a responsive service to students, staff and visitors.

  • May be indirect and/or a direct stakeholder-facing service.
  • Follow instructions from a supervisor, and standard operating procedures, to identify what and how to deliver a limited set of tasks or processes
  • As and when directed assist team members by stepping-in to provide support.
  • Learn the correct methods and tasks on the job.
  • Learn and adhere to general health, safety and security procedures within the service area in line with Health & Safety at Work guidelines, including departmental systems for health & safety and food safety
  • Use a range of equipment, tools and resources, digital devices, software and applications where necessary.
  • Communicate with supervisor, team members, other staff, students and visitors in person or using electronic tools and applications. 
  • Assist team members to deliver a frontline student, staff and visitor catering service.

Role responsibilities:

  • Share menu and food product knowledge, including answering questions regarding individual allergen and dietary requirements.
  • Anticipate individual needs of students, staff and visitors and proactively provide assistance where required.
  • Ensure that food is appropriately produced, presented, served and replenished.
  • Maintain wash up and food production areas and equipment to an exceptional standard of cleanliness
  • Learn how to, and use more task specific manual, administrative, domestic and specialist tools to deliver services.
  • Learn and complete work in accordance with risk assessments specific to nature of work area and environments.
  • Assist other team members with the application of basic audit and stock control tasks.
  • Where directed wear and use personal protective equipment and clothing to carry out tasks, including uniform.

Ensure that all feedback is brought to the attention of your line manager

  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements:

The post holder will be required to work any 5 days out of 7, which may include some evenings and weekends. Typical working hours are between 7am and 9:30pm.

Working in the catering team requires an element of physical manual handling, which can include lifting and transporting catering equipment.

The post holder will be required to work flexibly across all catering areas. 

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University's People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 27 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part time) and the option to purchase additional leave;
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme;
  • Corporate and local discounts;
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits;
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre;
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes;
  • Personal and career development;
  • And SO much more, with further information available here

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit:-

To apply please complete all details where requested. All applicants who complete the forms will be invited to an assessment. You may also want to attach a covering letter / letter of interest to support your application although not essential. We anticipate high interest in these roles therefore the advert may close before the application deadline

The assessment day(s) will take place in week commencing 30 August 2021. Successful applicants will be requested to start work from week commencing 20 September 2021.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

 For further information please contact Richard Metcalfe or Dave Walker:


Additional Information;

  • Normal hours of work between 7am - 9.30pm 
  • Various hours of work available up to 35 hours per week, in line with the working time directive.
  • Indicative rotas for five working days will be set four weeks in advance, confirming the week prior.
  • Premium rates will be paid for working on rest days and if there is a requirement to work overtime beyond 37 hours in a given week.
  • Competitive rates of pay

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.

Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

Person Specification


  • Experience of basic food preparation and production. 
  • Positive “can do” attitude. 
  • Excellent attention to detail. 
  • Willingness to work flexibly.
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Customer focused. 
  • Ability to accurately follow written and oral instructions. 
  • Friendly, positive and courteous. 
  • Basic numeracy and literacy skills.

This position belongs to Durham University Job Family: Community, Participation and Engagement Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.

OUR VALUESWe are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide an excellent stakeholder experience for our diverse and supportive community.

Overall family purpose

  • Provide excellent student support services, development and extra-curricular activities.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Respond to stakeholders at the point of service delivery, either in situ or remotely.
  • Facilitate the development of excellent colleague and academic engagement.
  • Provide a stakeholder focussed service designed to increase widening participation and diversity.
  • Promote the Durham reputation by establishing and broadening national and international community links to enhance the cultural and economic viability of the City and region.
  • Enhance the Durham wider student experience by developing extra-curricular activities.
  • Contribute to and enhance active, inclusive and supportive communities of stakeholders.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Engage with suppliers, consultants and specialist professionals to deliver programmes and activities to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage outreach and participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
  • Engage and network with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange and impact through local, national and international communities.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically and environmentally sustainable approach to delivering stakeholder focussed services across the University;
  • A world-class student, alumni and donor experience;
  • Focussed on the needs of all users working together to deliver front-line services as part of the Wider Student Experience;
  • Learn from and match best practice in the Wider Student Experience around the world;
  • Opening up our world-class sporting facilities to local clubs and athletes;
  • Support and facilitate activities as part of the Widening Student Experience at Durham;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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