SERC launches Taking Hospitality to New Heights initiative
Level 2 Professional Bakery students Siobhan McCloskey (Bangor) and Annie Moore (Comber).
South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is spearheading a new initiative, in conjunction with industry, to help address challenges within the hospitality sector as well as promoting the vibrant and rewarding career opportunities for young people. Taking Hospitality to New Heights will launch on 28 January, 12–2.30pm at SERC’s Space Campus, Castle Park Road, Bangor BT20 4TD.
“Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector is one of our largest employers so supporting it will benefit everyone,” said Paul Mercer, deputy head of School or Hospitality at SERC . “With the chronic shortage of skills well documented, SERC are keen to help address the issues that are impacting our industry so that we continue to have young people eager to learn and equip themselves with the right skills and qualifications for a career in the sector.
“By the same measure, this initiative offers industry an opportunity to inspire budding chefs or hoteliers to consider a career in this vibrant industry. Tourism and hospitality in Northern Ireland have gone from strength to strength in recent years and if we are to help continue this growth then collaborative programmes will be vital for the development of the next generation of talent by providing an opportunity for employers to share best practice and drive change in the industry.
“Taking Hospitality to New Heights aims to bring a holistic and fresh approach involving employers, training providers and Government. It’s about working together to tackle recruitment; matching the skills of the workforce with the bespoke skills employers need; communicating about recruitment alternatives such as apprenticeship programmes; inspiring current and emerging talent, and enabling participants to connect with local chefs, hoteliers and foodies from all sectors, at all stages of their careers to learn, teach and inspire each other.
“With initiatives such as Taste the Island building on the success of Northern Ireland winning Best Food Destination at the International Travel and Tourism Awards 2018/19, there has never been a more opportune time to address the challenges within the sector head-on.”