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Survey: education is failing hospitality

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A staggering level of dissatisfaction with standards of hospitality training in schools has been revealed by a survey of industry professionals.

People 1st, the catering industry’s Sector Skills Council, found that most of the 300 employers, trade associations, training providers and government agencies which responded felt that current training and vocational qualifications were not up to scratch. From the survey, 85% of delegates argued that schools did not adequately prepare students for the workplace, while 72% added that vocational qualifications were inadequate.

Margaret Taylor, head of hospitality at First College in Skegness, Lincolnshire, told Caterer: “Food is not experienced in school any more, as it’s now out of the curriculum. It’s a lost opportunity to whet the appetite of learners in their formative years.” She said that practical cooking education should be put back into schools.

“Education at a desk is not for everyone, and we need to get more vocational work into the curriculum. It’s important and useful for all students to learn how to cook, but it will also give us an opportunity to pull caterers out from that.”

Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, said: “We all understand the adverse effect an underskilled workforce has on productivity and profitability.” He added that training and qualifications needed to be appropriate to both employers’ businesses and to employee career development.

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