Cooking up a career in catering at Blackpool and The Fylde College

By Blackpool and the Fylde College

01 Nov 2016

Blackpool and The Fylde College has cooked up a route to a successful career in the catering industry with a course designed specifically for jobseekers.

The five-week Department for Work and Pensions – Job Centre Plus partnership project courses have seen students attend College for two days each week, and learn introductory skills including cooking a wide variety of dishes and health and safety in the workplace.

Five of the students on the latest course have now signed up for the College’s fast-track course which will lead to them achieving a Level 2 NVQ in hospitality and catering – and potentially moving on to a Level 3.

Tutor Carol Davies said: “The students have all really enjoyed the classes and said they felt it gave them important skills for the job market.

“From this course alone, five of the students have now signed up to do a full-time course at the College which shows what a valuable programme this has been.

“Hopefully, for some it may be the first steps into a successful career in catering.”

Hospitality, Tourism and Sport Programme Leader Steve Alexander added: “These courses have been really well received and we have had a 100 per cent success rate with those taking part.

“As well as increasing self-esteem and confidence, students have said how proud they have been to take home the food they have produced, which is great to hear. They have also taken part in an industry placement to learn what it is like to spend time in a professional kitchen environment.

“With this course the College is really fulfilling a requirement in our community for these kinds of industry-focussed courses which lead to employment.”

The course – which ended with the students all receiving their certificates last week – followed on from successful programmes throughout the summer.

As well as taking away essential new skills designed to meet industry-standards, the students also received a set of “whites”, the unmistakable chefs’ uniform seen in kitchens the world over.

The initiative was funded by the Savoy Educational Trust, an independent, grant-giving charitable trust which aims to advance and develop education, training and qualifications within the hospitality industry.

A trust spokesman said: “The Trustees of the Savoy Educational Trust were very pleased to award funding to Blackpool and The Fylde College for an exciting initiative, namely the Department of Work and Pensions – Job Centre Plus partnership project.

“This programme is designed to develop entry-level skills for unemployed people in Blackpool. It is believed that there are currently over 10,000 people claiming long-term benefits in Blackpool and it is this ‘harder to reach’ group that the college will target with this programme. “The college will look to complete six cohorts of 12 learners over the academic year and the Trustees’ grant will be used specifically for uniform costs and funding to enable extra staffing to facilitate and support learners in sourcing work placements and all issues related to ‘returning to work’.”

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