A proposal to open a Studio School in Liverpool that will help train 14-19 year-olds to work in hospitality, tourism and culture, has been approved by the Department for Education to open in September 2013.
The new training facility, which is sponsored by Liverpool Community College and employers, will give 300 students the chance to gain work experience, coaching and training in hospitality, tourism and culture while also studying for key GCSEs such as Maths, English and Sciences.
Studio Schools, a relatively new concept in education, have been introduced to build vocational skills and help address the growing gap between the skills and knowledge that young people require to succeed, and those that the current education system provides.
The news that there is to be a greater emphasis on arming young people with the right skills to work in hospitality may be welcomed by the hospitality industry, which has seen the skills crisis deepen over the last few years .
Liverpool's facility already has the backing of key organisations such as People 1st and the Hospitality Guild with hotel company Jury's Inn also on board from industry to offer support and work placements to students while they are enrolled at the school.
Gill Banks, vice principal at Liverpool Community College, said: “This Studio School offers an excellent opportunity for students to still combine enterprise skills with traditional qualifications but at the same time get valuable work experience and training for a career in the visitor economy. This is an area of Liverpool’s economy which is growing and offers some good job opportunities for our young people.”
Fifteen new Studio Schools in all were given approval to open in September 2013 by Education Secretary Michael Gove on Monday.
A school focusing on catering, with a specialism in Caribbean cuisine, was one that gained approval. Kajans Hospitality and Catering Studio School, sponsored by Kajans Women's Enterprise and supported by a number of local employers including Aston Villa FC, will also open in 2013 and will aim to arm students with skills in food production, service delivery and distribution skills.
David Nicoll, chief executive of the Studio Schools Trust said: “The Studio School will play an important role in shaping the future workforce across the region, and providing new opportunities for young people as well as improving their employment prospects and life chances.''