The schools, located at South Trafford College in Manchester and Westminster Kingsway College in London, offers 15 participants at a time an opportunity to refresh their skills and improve their chance of career progression in the industry.
Each course runs for 16 weeks and covers craft skills such as butchery and cooking techniques; kitchen maintenance skills like food hygiene, stock ordering and costing; personal management and development; and general information on the importance of the hospitality industry to the UK economy.
Perry Huntley, head of food development, said chefs from Slug and Lettuce and La Tasca that had participated in the inaugural course had “demonstrated great aptitude”.
“They have successfully transferred the skills learnt into their day-to-day roles, gaining confidence in their ability and generating a buzz about the course.
“By offering this added school-based training opportunity that has both practical and theory elements we hope to attract more talented and enthusiastic people who wish to develop a career in hospitality to join the group.”
Train to retain
Research by sector skills council People 1st found that 50 per cent of the hospitality industry planned to cut back on training to save money.
At the time Martin Christian-Kent, director of research at People 1st, said: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of employers saying their chefs lack the needed culinary skills to do their jobs. There’s an increasing demand from consumers who require that chefs be able to cook to a high standard, instead of just being handy with a microwave or deep fat fryer.”
The hospitality industry has the highest staff turnover rate of any sector in the UK (31 per cent in 2008), but research has shown that investing in training and motivating staff can help prevent this.