West Suffolk Council has secured £10,000 worth of funding from Suffolk Growth for a project focused on changing perceptions of the hospitality sector and the visitor economy in West Suffolk.
The project, Choose Hospitality, will be delivered in partnership with West Suffolk College and local hospitality leaders to celebrate the varied career options on offer within the sector.
To inspire and support young people looking at a future in the hospitality sector, those starting a relevant apprenticeship or study programme at West Suffolk College are to be offered a ‘Welcome to Hospitality’ incentive payment of £300. This grant can be used by students to cover some of the costs of buying uniforms and equipment, and to help with travel costs.
For those aged 10 to 15 years there is Junior Chef, an introductory stage programme specifically designed to give young people a chance to experience working in a professional kitchen. Whether they fancy a career as a chef or just want to have fun, it is a brilliant opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. Part of the funding will be allocated to providing bursaries for this programme.
In addition to the project inspiring young people into the industry and training new generations of talent to support local businesses with recruitment issues, Choose Hospitality will help young people gain cooking skills to allow them to make food on a budget which is particularly important with the current cost of living crisis.
To celebrate the creativity in the sector, a variety of events will play host to demonstrations and offer opportunities to cook alongside local chefs. Local hospitality businesses will also be available to chat to.
Cllr Susan Glossop, Cabinet Member for Growth at West Suffolk Council said “It is encouraging to see partnership working across West Suffolk to promote the hospitality sector. It is well documented that the industry has struggled due to the pandemic, and this is a great opportunity to drive interest and engage the next generation, as well as upskill the current work force.”
Claire Waterson, Operations Manager, Culinary Arts Academy, West Suffolk College said “This is a unique opportunity to engage West Suffolk College, West Suffolk council and local businesses with students and their families. The project is tailored to highlight, and ignite a passion for, the hospitality sector at a young age and nurture that interest into a career path.”
If you are a budding chef keep an eye out for an upcoming competition, further details will be announced in due course.
This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund.