Over 150 pupils from 10 Slough schools enjoyed a taste of the hospitality industry at a special Hospitality Taster Day held at Langley College this week, to mark the re-launch of hospitality and catering courses at the College this September.

The event, which was run in partnership with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, brought together celebrity chefs to demonstrate a range of cookery techniques, inviting the students to join in and learn how to make pasta, sushi and samosas from the industry experts.

Gillian May CEO and Group Principal for Langley College said: “This event was a fabulous way to engage with local schools and showcase the industry standard training kitchens and restaurant at Langley. We are delighted to be re-launching our programme this September as the industry recovers from the pandemic. We saw so much enthusiasm from the students at the event I am sure we will see a number of them becoming the next generation of chefs and hospitality professionals.”

Local chefs Tom Westerland & Arbinder Singh Dugal were on hand, along with sushi master Keiko Urakawa to demonstrate just what the new academy will be offering when it re-opens in September. Tom Westerland gave a brilliant fresh ravioli-making demonstration and Arbinder, made Potli samosas, both showcasing a hand-kneaded dough to achieve the perfect end result.

Students enjoyed a range of delicious canapés made by the chefs including sushi, arancini and a lunch of new plant-based, 3D printed Redefine Meat, New Meat™ vegan burgers followed by pasta making, an interactive sushi-rolling demonstration and a samosa-making competition, all live on stage.

The winner of the samosa making competition was Langley Academy year 9 student, Shalom Smith-Amarteifio, who won a prize of a £50 voucher for lunch for three at local Indian restaurant The Renaizance which she will attend with a friend and a teacher from their school.

Langley Academy Careers Officer Ruth Turner said “I’m so happy for Shalom in winning the samosa-making competition. She competed against peers from four other schools to create the perfect potli samosa. I’m sure all the teachers will want to accompany her to The Renaizance restaurant, as we’ve heard such great things. This is such a lovely prize and well-deserved by a student who has a real passion for cooking and is an absolute pleasure to teach. This was such a successful day, greatly enjoyed by all.”

The special taster day was designed to showcase the exceptional facilities at the College to students from local schools, introducing them to the chefs who could be teaching them in the college kitchens if they choose to embark upon a hospitality and catering course at Langley College in September 2022.

There was also a special live performance of The Chefs’ Forum Academy’s brand new, theme tune, “Inspiration”, written by music artist Lowkeylimit, accompanied by talented break dancers Kit Sells and Mikey Hook-Tappin.

The Academy will have chef patrons Dominic Chapman (The Beehive), Joe Bartlett (Cliveden House), Tom Westerland (Crockers Henley), Sushi Master Keiko Urakawa and Roux Scholarship and Masterchef semi-finalist, Arbinder Singh Dugal, who are all local to the college.

Dominic Chapman said: “We’re all looking forward to a new influx of students this year. It’s going to be great to work with them through the new academy.”

Arbinder added: “Langley is my local college and I always love to make a difference and give back to the community. I really enjoy working with young people, and it is a real honour to be invited to be the Patron of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Langley College.”

Slough-based Shipley’s Food service kindly sponsored an array of samosas, Indian sweets and medjool dates to celebrate the Holy month of Ramadan.

First Choice Produce also helped with supplying all fresh and ambient produce, helping The Chefs’ Forum drive down the food cost of the event, catering for nearly 150 school children in years 10 and 11.

Catherine Farinha, Director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “These Taster Days introduce school pupils to the hospitality profession and really showcase the opportunities on offer in this vibrant sector. What’s fantastic is they can train at Langley College with the support and patronage of this wonderful array of talented chefs.”

Catherine continued: “We are very lucky to have the support of Dominic, Joe, Arbinder, Tom and Keiko, as all of these talented chefs, all with very different cuisine specialities, showed the school children how exciting a career in the hospitality industry could be.

The Chefs’ Forum is all about bridging the gap between colleges, the profession, and the wider hospitality community. I’m looking forward to Langley College becoming a Chefs’ Forum Academy this September, giving them access to our huge database of talented chefs who can visit the college to teach students all the latest techniques from industry in their purpose-built training kitchens and restaurant on campus.”

To find out more about joining the college in September come along to the open day at Langley College on 24th May from 4.30 – 7pm or visit the website at www.windsor-forest.ac.uk and apply online.

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Langley College has joined the green energy revolution by launching a new Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Training Centre this week to train the clean, green mechanics of the future. The £80,000 investment in the centre has been funded by the Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Government’s Local Growth Fund and will become a hub for green vehicle training, utilising the latest technology and systems, which are fast becoming mainstream in the motor vehicle industry.

Gillian May, CEO and Group Principal of Windsor Forest Colleges Group sees the new centre as the start of the development of a green curriculum and commented: “We know the motor vehicle industry is changing rapidly, and this training centre, which is one of just a handful in the south-east, will make Langley the go-to centre for upskilling employees in the trade and will ensure our students are ahead of the curve.” She continued: “This is just the start of our green technology agenda, we have ambitious plans to develop our curriculum, ensuring our students, whether school leavers or adults, will have the necessary skills and understanding of green technologies for the future”.

Katharine Horler, Chair of the Skills Advisory Panel from Berkshire LEP, commented on the importance of continued investment in relevant skills for the region. She said: “As we progress towards the government’s deadline, which will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, we must equip current mechanics and those newly training in the industry with the skills needed to maintain decarbonised cars and vans. These skills are in demand, and Langley College will be a keynote centre for the industry.”

Alison Webster, Chief Executive of Berkshire LEP, officially opened the centre this week. She said: “We’re delighted to have funded the new Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Training Centre at Langley College. The Further Education and Training sector has a valuable role to play in the achievement of our sustainability goals, and at Berkshire LEP, we recognise the need to support the provision of training to help people acquire the skills to work in a future green career. We are delighted to be able to support the College in training the next generation of auto technicians in Berkshire.”

Alison Webster was joined by Gillian and her expert team to launch the event this week, which was also attended by Paul Britton, CEO of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce. Paul endorsed the college’s agenda in upskilling the mechanics of the future.

Langley College has a long-established reputation for providing quality training for young people as well as upskilling automotive engineers from small and medium-sized garages and larger organisations in Berkshire.

The College will deliver three new qualifications in the centre, all accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles.

For more information about automotive engineering courses at Langley College, visit the website at www.windsor-forest.ac.uk or come to the Langley College open day on the 24th May 2022 from 4.30 - 7pm.

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