Career-quest pupils get taste of hotel life

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AROUND 200 pupils from Sheffield’s secondary schools have spent the last two days visiting hotels and venues across the city as part of the launch of Spring Forward, a scheme that aims to encourage children to consider a career in the hospitality industry.

Yesterday, the teenagers were at a hotel in Sheffield city centre, learning how to lay tables in the manner required for hotel restaurants.

Studentshave gone behind the scenes in areas such as catering, housekeeping and leisure services, with activities including bed-making competitions and baking bread.

Jon Broadhurst, one of the organisers of Spring Forward and general manager of Jurys Inn in Eyre Street, said: “We feel that this is a really important initiative where we can influence the hotel managers of the future into choosing hospitality as a serious career choice.

“The two-day hospitality orientation aimed to allow the students to get a good grasp of how a hotel or venue operates looking at housekeeping, catering, leisure services and event management.

“After the students took part in the various activities they were taken back to Sheffield College where they learned about the courses and qualifications needed to get started on the hospitality ladder.”

John Janiszewski, head of business development and hospitality at Sheffield City College, added: “It’s important to give young people a taste of the careers and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, available now within the catering and hospitality sector - especially during the current economic climate. 

“The college catering department has a strong reputation locally and nationally, and is a founding member of Hospitality Sheffield.

“We are delighted to be able to support this initiative.”

Hotels and venues taking part in Spring Forward include the Leopold Hotel, the Mercure Hotel and Spa, Park Inn, the Hilton Hotel, the Cutlers Hotel, Sheffield Hallam University, Premier Inn, the Copthorne Hotel, Holiday Inn Express and the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria.

Ian Slater, chairman of Hospitality Sheffield and general manager of the Park Inn, said yesterday: “Hospitality Sheffield is fully behind this initiative which we hope will encourage students to sign up for hospitality courses at the college, with the benefit of producing a future generation that is well-developed, highly trained and ready to take on the future roles within this exciting industry.

“This hospitality initiative is key to the future of Sheffield’s tourism industry and by investing in the students of today we can ensure that this successful sector continues to grow and develop.”