Hospitality Skills Forum caters for business needs

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East Berkshire College and The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Grow our Own service hosted a special Hospitality Skills Forum exclusively for hospitality and catering businesses in the Windsor and Maidenhead area on Wednesday (17th April 2013).

Held in the auspicious surroundings of the Guildhall in Windsor, the forum provided local businesses with the chance to find out about apprenticeships, pre-employment training, a complimentary job-matching service and the funding available to employers in this thriving sector.

Starting with a traditional afternoon tea, the event included a number of short presentations by key speakers including George Robertson, Operations Manager from WPC Inns. Guests were also able to find out about the College’s new state-of-the-art Hospitality & Catering Academy in Langley, which will deliver full-time and part-time courses, including apprenticeships, in a range of areas from professional cookery to front of house.  

One of the guest speakers at the event was George Robertson, Operations Manager for WPC Inns. With seven venues across Windsor, the successful pub and restaurant chain has already recruited seven apprentices through East Berkshire College’s new Hospitality & Catering Academy.

George explains: “We took on our first apprentice three months ago at the Royal Stag and we now have seven apprentices throughout the business. The apprentices are already having a very positive impact on the team in terms of their enthusiasm and energy. It is a tough world for businesses at the moment, but apprenticeships are a great way to reduce recruitment costs, improve staff retention and develop home-grown talent.”

Talking at the event Geoff Salinas, Area Head Chef for the Francesco’s restaurant and café chain, said: “We are particularly interested in further developing the skills of our current staff and finding fresh new talent for our restaurants, so we decided to come along to the event. Having a local training facility for our industry will make a real difference to local businesses like ours.”        

East Berkshire College and The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Grow our Own team are working in partnership to support recruitment and training needs of local businesses in this thriving sector.

Johanna Watts, Grow our Own Manager, says: “The Royal Borough has an expansive range of businesses in Hospitality, including two of the top 20 tourist attractions in the U.K. We are keen to work with employers to provide the skills to enable local people to seize work opportunities in a thriving sector.”

The new Hospitality & Catering Academy is part of East Berkshire College’s £16m makeover of its Langley College and will provide state-of-the-art facilities to meet the training needs of the local community. Due for completion in August, the new academy will accommodate professional training kitchens, a working restaurant and conference suite.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its new hospitality & catering courses, call 0845 373 2500 or click here.

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