UFS Caddies

New Year, New You?

As a festive ‘temp’, waiting on tables or serving behind the bar to earn some extra Christmas cash because you’re between jobs or still studying, you may give little thought to what you do outside of work and this means you could be missing a trick.

With an estimated £90 billion annual turnover, Britain’s catering and hospitality industry is already the country’s fifth largest employer, providing one in every 13 jobs. This equates to a workforce of 2.4 million and it supports an additional 1.2 million staff indirectly through the supply chain. Just last month, Sir David Michels, president of the British Hospitality Association, presented a report that based on even the most cautious calculations, forecast UK workforce growth to 2.76 million by 2015 and 3.09 million by 2020. Although there’s no such thing as job security nowadays for
those working in the sector, the odds of staying salaried are looking good.

As a sector, the jobs on offer within Britain’s catering and hospitality industry cover a whole gamut of skill sets from chefing to customer service, hotel management to event management, running your own business to climbing the corporate ladder. There are roles to suit a myriad of personalities, CVs, life experiences and life circumstances. If you’re not currently committed to a career perhaps it’s time to give your temp job some food for thought and look at formalising what it’s taught you with qualifications that could literally be your passport to a fulfilling and successful world of opportunity.

The Next Steps

From NVQs to foundation and honours level degrees, there are colleges and universities throughout the UK offering part and full-time catering and hospitality courses, which mix academic study with vocational training. Entry requirements vary but these establishments have at least one thing in common and that is, they’re currently recruiting their next year’s student intakes. Among them is the Edge Hotel School, which is unique in that it operates the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a commercial, luxury country house hotel. Wivenhoe House, an 18th century Grade II listed building once painted by Constable, was used for the original offices and teaching rooms when the University of Essex’s Colchester campus was established in 1964. Now it has just undergone a £10 million restoration and refurbishment to transform it into a top hotel, wedding and conference venue.

Officially re-opened in September, Wivenhoe House has 40 suites and rooms, including rooms sponsored by Hilton International and Marriott International, a new garden wing, a signature restaurant for formal dining, a brasserie and conference facilities.

Students studying for degrees in hotel management and culinary management work in all areas of the hotel and its restaurants. It’s fast track study with students expected to achieve their BAs in two years (three, 15 week terms per year) and foundation degrees in 16 months. Says Wivenhoe’s Jenny Grinter: “The venture has significant support from the hospitality industry as the industry needs its next generation of managers to arrive with work ready skills. It’s a growth industry with a skills shortage for managers and the sector wants to recruit professionals with the relevant skills and experience.”

To support the Edge Hotel School, the Savoy Educational Trust funded a number of scholarships for it to award. Lancashire applicant Freddy Bateman (19) was one of the lucky recipients, receiving a £3,000 grant towards his studies. Says Freddy: “I’ve worked in the catering industry since I was 14-years-old from starting in the kitchens through to working as a waiter and then a chef. I really want to be a hotel manager one day and go on to be someone who is respected within the industry.”

Through funding awards to educational establishments as well as directly to individuals, the Savoy Educational Trust has been supporting people looking to build and develop careers within the hospitality industry for more than 50 years. Explains the trust’s Margaret Georgiou: “The trustees
are constantly searching for new opportunities to support the advancement and development of education, training and qualifications within the hospitality industry for today and well into the future.

“They consider a wide range of applications annually for grants and bursaries. There are no restrictions to applying.”

For further information on the trust and how to apply for a grant or bursary, visit www.savoyeducationaltrust.org.uk.
For further information on hospitality and catering courses offered by the University of Essex at the Edge Hotel School, log on to www.edgehotelschool.ac.uk.
The Wivenhoe also has a website at www.wivenhoehouse.co.uk.
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