The school has been launched in an attempt to lower the burden of the chef and skills shortages within the industry, while allowing employers to ensure that students are getting the right training in the early stages of their careers.
Students from the school will be given an opportunity to complete a variety of work placements across the hospitality industry.
Bridget Halford, head of hospitality, hair, beauty and spa industries at Bath College, said that she is looking forward to seeing the growth of the school.
“We’re building partnerships to give them the best opportunities and access to the best employers across the city and beyond,” she said.
“Businesses have been really supportive. They think it’s a fantastic idea and it’s something that’s needed.”
Sarah Holden, hotel director at The Pig near Bath, said that the school offers something different as businesses have had their input in the way it has been set up.
“It’s a privilege to be involved and what makes this different is that all the businesses have had a voice in how this has been set up,” she said.
“I am sure it will help with recruitment - it’s no secret that industry wide this is a huge challenge, especially in the kitchen. The dream is that the hotel and restaurant school will enable us to recruit the next generation and home-grow our own talent.”
Paul Mason, food and beverage manager at the Ginsborough Bath Spa Hotel, another of the businesses on board with the school, said that it’s hard for hospitality businesses in small cities to employ talent and that the school will open opportunities for students wherever they choose to work.
“Tourism is one of the key industries in Bath, the industry employs 9,000 people locally. But Bath is not London – it’s not a big city – and we have to work harder to attract people to come to work here,” he said.
“By working together, it means that the students emerge better trained for real life in a busy restaurant or hotel, which will definitely benefit both the industry and the young people themselves. Getting work experience here will add to their qualifications. As well as jobs in Bath, it will open up scope for them throughout the world.”
From bottom to top
Eighteen-year-old student, Connor Gale, who is spending his last year at the college studying for a Level 3 catering and hospitality qualification, spoke of his desire to work from the bottom to the top.
“The type of place I’m looking to work at is a big hotel – anywhere that has a restaurant and a nice sized kitchen with good food,” he said.
“I just really want to start at the bottom and work my way up to get as good as I can. To meet all the employers today is an amazing experience.”