Hospitality plays a crucial role to both the UK’s local and national economies. Even the smallest towns and villages require pubs, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues of some shape or form. Almost every sector and business in the country is touched by the hospitality industry somehow, catering to both locals and tourists and contributing billions of pounds to the UK economy annually, making it one of the largest and most important industries in Britain.
Hospitality is also an industry which creates lots of jobs and you’ll no doubt find hospitality, tourism and catering courses at most further and higher education institutions up and down the country, aimed at helping students stand out in the fiercely competitive jobs market.
So, how are colleges and universities helping to prepare people for the hospitality industry?
In this guide alongside Newcastle College, we explore how students can become work-ready.
Real-Life Work Experience
Vocational education’s aim is to prepare students for their journey into employment. Getting real work experience is part of that, so when T-Levels are introduced next year, work placements will form a compulsory part of every course.
Student involvement will include takeovers at local hotels and high-profile partnerships can even see students organise big events.
A UCAS study discovered that two-thirds of employers seek graduates who have relevant work experience as this helps them prepare for the world of work and develop general business awareness too.
The majority of college hospitality teams are made up of chefs and other industry experts who have years of indispensable knowledge and experience behind them. Not only can they offer their own expertise, but they can bring in guest lecturers from the industry to offer masterclasses in their specialisms.
In recent years the importance of guest lecturers has become more apparent as they can help enhance a student’s educational experience. Research has found that this helps them build important connections between their on-site learning and the real world, with the guest speaker able to offer a different perspective on the subject.
Facilities of a High Standard
Learning practical skills like cookery isn’t ideal in a classroom, so it’s important that students can learn in environments which will actually prepare them for real-life work.
The latest Newcastle College Ofsted report praised both its partnerships with employers and it’s quality of facilities, both of which help students develop the work-related skills required whilst learning in an industry environment.
Students can enjoy learning their trade in five industry standard kitchens and the College has recently invested £45,000 into a brand-new patisserie kitchen, gaining them Centre of Excellence status for Food and Beverage and Patisserie and Confectionary with Gold accreditation.
What makes training within a college environment unique is the opportunity for students to put the skills that they’ve learned to the test by taking part in competitions against fellow colleges.
The events are great opportunities and prepare students to work in time-sensitive and pressured environments before going on to work in busy and demanding restaurant kitchens.
Regional and national competitions are also something that students can be put forward to take part in to help them showcase their talents to a wider audience.
As the hospitality industry continues to grow and the competition in the jobs market becomes as fierce as ever, hospitality education is at the forefront of its game. If you’re thinking of getting into the hospitality trade, look up courses at your local college for experiences which will prepare you for a demanding career and help you stand out from the crowd.