The Career Colleges Trust has granted licences for the first two Career Colleges to open, the Hugh Baird hospitality focused site and Oldham College in Greater Manchester, which concentrates on digital arts. Both Colleges have strong support from local industry, with several employers having helped to design the curriculum. Local employers will also be offering relevant work experience, placements and mentoring to students at the colleges.
In April BigHospitality reported that the first hospitality Career College to open in the UK would be Bromley, but we have since learned this is incorrect, with Hugh Baird College and Oldham College being the official first two. With regards to Bromley, the Career College Trust informed us:
“Bromley College will pilot its Hospitality, Food and Enterprise Career College to 16-19 year olds from September 2014 with a view to the full 14-19 Career College opening in September 2015. The Career College Trust will continue to work closely with Bromley College to test and develop our resources and to take the project forward.”
The Hugh Baird College hospitality school is run slightly differently to other areas of the college, as alongside lecturers and assessors it also has a general manager, a head chef, a sous chef and a restaurant manager to help students, and allows them to have work experience in its L20 Hotel School.
Principal of Hugh Baird College Yana Williams said: “We want to offer educational choices to young people in Bootle and across the Liverpool City Region that equip them with life skills and prepare them for work while also ensuring they have a sound academic grounding.
“The visitor economy has been identified by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership as a key growth area with a range of employment opportunities for our learners. By focusing our Career College on the hospitality and catering industry, we are confident that we will help to ensure that employers’ needs are fulfilled in future years with highly skilled, work ready individuals with a clear understanding of the sector and employer expectations.”
Passion for hospitality
A number of local businesses have gotten involved to help with the curriculum and offer work experience.
Chef proprietor at the Yacht Club Liverpool Adam Franklin said: “As someone passionate about the hospitality industry, I was delighted to work with the L20 Hotel School at Hugh Baird College to mould a full time hospitality offer that will enthuse and engage students at 14. People like to learn in different ways and school isn’t for everyone, some young people who are disengaged with school often thrive when they learn to make something with their hands, and the earlier they can get the chance to do this the better.
“Young people must have the right work ethic and the skills needed to hit the ground running when the industry comes calling. The career college at Hugh Baird College’s L20 Hotel School will help ensure this is the case and promises to give those with a passion for hospitality the opportunity to embark on an exciting and limitless career in the hospitality industry.”