Over the last three years, funding for catering and hospitality courses has been cut by 40 per cent as the Government has tightened up spending and focused more heavily on supporting apprenticeships and work-placed learning.
However, ahead of its annual forum next year, the Professional Association for Catering Education (PACE) said the move was having a detrimental effect on students and employers and would harm the future of the industry.
PACE chief executive Geoff Booth said: “Putting it simply, a 40 per cent cut in funding is the equivalent of turning full-time hospitality courses into a part-time training programme. How can we expect students to graduate with a well-rounded set of skills and experience and meet the expectations of a demanding industry?
“It will have a long-term effect on the development of successful careers in hospitality and does not reflect the needs of our expanding hospitality industry.”
Booth said many 'potentially excellent, yet disillusioned' people were leaving the hospitality industry every year because they had not received adequate training and said investment was needed to safeguard the growth and success of
The issue of funding and the impact cuts will have on the industry will be under discussion at the PACE Learning & Development Best Practice Forum when it takes place at the East Midlands Conference Centre on 12 and 13 March next year.
Other topics up for discussion include menu labelling and nutrition, science behind food, pastry and chocolate skills, service skills and energy waste and sustainability in colleges. There will also be curriculum and funding updates.
Booth said: "The PACE Learning & Development Best Practice Forum 2013 will unite catering and hospitality professionals and give them the tools and knowledge to best deal with this unacceptable situation and continue to deliver excellence in their field.”
The two-day event, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, will also host the PACE Awards 2013 Dinner where those who have excelled in hospitality and culinary education will be recognised and rewarded. Award categories include Best Chef Lecturer, Best Restaurant Service Lecturer and Partnership with Industry Award.
For more information on the PACE Forum and awards visit www.mcculloughmoore.co.uk/pace