I write with mounting frustration at the comments made in the article "Students steer clear of contract catering" and the editorial comment (Caterer, 18 May).
The reason for my frustration is that at Bournemouth University we developed a course, Food Services Management, designed specifically to develop graduates for the contract catering sector. We tried to recruit students to this course for three years without success and in desperation approached contract catering companies to endorse the course. We were sure that, with this endorsement, applicants would come forward. However, none of the companies that we approached was willing to support us (we didn't ask for money, just an endorsement) and recruitment to the course was closed in 2004.
In the light of this experience, I am staggered that Robyn Jones claims that colleges are failing to support the industry. Admittedly, Charlton House was not one of the companies we asked for support, but I am willing to issue a challenge to both Robyn Jones and William Baxter - give us your support and we will revive Food Services Management. Indeed, with your advice we will review and redesign the course and we will be happy to offer this to applicants in 2007.
Come on, guys. Show us that you mean it - give us the support that we need to support you.
Professor Nigel Hemmington Head of School of Services Management
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