Pupils sample Hospitality and Tourism Takeover Day

Marc Crothall and Ken Thomson

Pupils sample Hospitality and Tourism Takeover Day

Forth Valley College hosted a prestigious Hospitality and Tourism Takeover day for Falkirk school pupils at their Stirling Campus on Wednesday 15 February.

Principal Dr Ken Thomson welcomed everyone on the day and guest speaker Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance officially set the scene for the purpose of the activities and workshops which aimed at encouraging S2 and S3 secondary school pupils to consider thinking about a career in the industry.

Organisers Springboard arranged for eight different workshops on the day for groups of 20 children from the eight different Falkirk high schools to get a feel for the hospitality industry.

Sedexo showed the youngsters how to prepare a starter, Baxter Storey took on the main course duties and Forth Valley College staff the dessert. Caledonain Produce organised a food processing workshop, while Q Hotels delivered a mocktails lesson. Gleneagles Hotel showed their expertise in housekeeping and DF Concerts put on an event management class.

Jon Reid, Rector of Larbert High School, who helped to organise the event, said:

"This event had a very significant impact on 180 young people across all eight secondary schools within Falkirk Council.  The opportunity to directly engage with partners directly involved in the sector and to see, first hand, the facilities that Forth Valley College has to offer was a rare opportunity.  It helped to shape the young people's thinking, raise their aspirations and begin to plan for their intended destination.  Many of the young people, who were before unsure of their plans, are now certain that future study in the area is within their sights.  All of the young people engaged in the workshops with enthusiasm and interest which were seamlessly facilitated by Springboard UK in partnership with Forth Valley College."

FVC Principal Dr Ken Thomson, said:

“This was a fantastic event to help give early secondary school pupils a taste of what the hospitality industry has to offer and we were delighted to host it at our Stirling Campus, which offers state-of-the-art facilities in relation to this sector.

“The feedback we have already received has shown this to have been a successful event and we understand similar events will now be held to allow Stirling and Clackmannanshire schools to sample the same experiences of the hospitality industry.”

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance:

“As someone with 35 years of working in the front line of tourism and hospitality business around the globe - and now CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the organisation that both represents the industry, leads and coordinates the National Tourism Strategy - I was delighted to be part of the Hospitality and Tourism Takeover day.

“The tourism and hospitality industry is one of Scotland’s most important industries and one that has huge potential to grow, but needs more people to join and make it their career of choice, so events like this are hugely important!

“There are so many different jobs in the industry which young people are often not made aware of. Also too often the industry is positioned as the one you can default to if you fail in your exams at school. It is also perceived by many that it is poorly paid and offers little career progression. It is at events like the Hospitality Tourism Takeover (HTT) Day and through the work of Springboard along with industry and colleges like Forth Valley coming together, that we are able to dispel this myth and open eyes of young people to what a fantastic industry this is to work in.

“As those students who took part now realise there many different jobs you can do aside from working in a restaurant or hotel. It was great to see the students having such fun too whilst learning new skills. Here's to the next HTT and enticing more future stars into our industry! "

Vicki Sutherland, Regional Manager – Tayside & Fife for The Springboard Charity & Springboard UK Ltd, said:

“We were delighted to be involved with the Hospitality & Tourism Takeover event, the day really showcased the industry and got pupils to consider a career in the sector. Many pupils who hadn’t thought about a career in hospitality and tourism previously, are now considering working in the sector.  We are thrilled at the enthusiasm shown by over 170 pupils at what was a very hands on, interactive event.”

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