Gloucestershire College Students Have Never Had a Better Opportunity to Start a Career in Hospitality

Gloucestershire students have never had a better opportunity to start a career in hospitality thanks to initiatives at the region’s college.

Earlier this year saw the launch of The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire college, a new initiative aimed at training the next generation of chefs.

Next term, the focus at The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Gloucestershire college will be on level two as well as level three, and it is hoped that students will then migrate on to the Cotswolds Star Academy, which launches in September 2017.

Dean Westcar from Lucknam Park with StudentsSome of the most innovative names in the Cotswolds have teamed up with Gloucestershire College to create the Cotswold Star Academy, which is an opportunity for passionate young people aiming for a career in this ever-growing sector.

The Cotswold Star Academy will offer just 15 places on a 12-month training programme for Hospitality Supervisors and Chef de Parties to work with local luxury brands like The Calcot Collection, Farncombe Estate, Ellenborough Park and The Lucky Onion Group.

The Cotswolds has some of the region’s most exciting hotels, restaurants and event destinations, such as 131 The Promenade, The Painswick and Dormy House.

In an industry facing a real challenge to attract and retain talent, the Cotswold Star Academy hopes to create a pipeline of highly skilled and motivated staff, and make hospitality a first choice career to continue its success.

The Cotswold Star Academy training programme has been specially developed by the partners and Gloucestershire College, and is being supported by The Savoy Educational Trust and Creed Catering; all long-standing champions of the hospitality industry who strive to promote the huge range of careers in this dynamic sector.

The programme will enable each ‘star’ to kick-start a well-paid managerial career, as they gain qualifications, experience and skills whilst working at each venue and earning a decent wage. It will include an element of off-the-job training that will be undertaken through online learning, work shadowing and masterclasses and seminars at each venue, as well as with The Chefs’ Forum.

Jo O’Connell, Head of Hospitality at Gloucestershire College, says: “This industry plays a very important part in the economy of Gloucestershire and evidence suggests that employment in this sector locally will continue toCanapes rise.

“The Cotswold Star Academy will offer two different training pathways for aspiring chefs and also those who will work as Hospitality Supervisors.

“The hospitality supervisors will be working on organising events, managing food and drink at front of house, getting involved in the managing of rooms and bookings – they’ll be involved in all the areas of running a hotel smoothly.

“Those who want to become chefs will be working as Chef de Partie – that’s a chef with his or her own area of responsibility – in some of the best kitchens in the country.”

Suzie Frost, of The Lucky Onion Group, said: “The hospitality industry is an exciting area to work in and not enough people are aware that such a diverse range of jobs exist; there are so many ways to progress and develop a career. Hotels have award-winning restaurants, host weddings and corporate events, and are destinations for people wanting spa experiences; they need good general managers.”

Lianne Sargent from Farncombe Estate, added: “This will be a great opportunity to gain experience with some of the UK’s best hotels. This is an exclusive programme that we have designed with Gloucestershire College and will enable the trainees to move around the hotels, organise events and attend masterclasses, including some with The Chefs’ Forum.”

Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer and Chefs’ Forum Academy Coordinator, says The Chefs’ Forum academy has been well received at all levels of the college since its launch in January.

“It has enriched the students experience greatly; having weekly reinforcement of industry standards by leading awarding winning industry experts/Chefs through the masterclasses has benefited the students andStudents Plucking help support the delivery of the syllabus, it has also brought a sense of realism to their programme.

“It has been noticeable how much more engaged and enthusiastic they are about their course.  They having nothing but positive feedback about the masterclasses and opportunities that it opens up for them including securing work experience. The students chase us to know what is the next subject, with who and which groups will have the opportunity to attend, which is rather refreshing, gone are the days when we lecturing staff have to badger them to attend things.

“This year we are running the new City & Guilds Level 3 Technical Diploma in Professional Cookery 6100 which has an employer engagement part to it and the masterclasses has offered the opportunity to fulfil this element with relevant evidence/experiences with minimum stress and without the need to send students off on block work experience.

“What has made this so successful is that catering team have embraced it with an enthusiastic and positive attitude which has rubbed off on to the students, we wanted to make this work for the students experience and had a planned timetable slot for it to happen and of course the hard work of the chef’s forum, good communication between the college and Catherine has been essential to co-ordinate the opportunity properly making sure everything is in place for the masterclasses.”

To find out more about The Cotswold Star Academy visit: