The Launch of the new South West College Professional Cookery Apprenticeship took place in Enniskillen on Tuesday 4th February, as chefs from the local industry joined college students and tutors to showcase the new opportunities available to young people with ambitions in the catering industry.
Stephen Holland, Executive Sous Chef at the Lough Erne Golf Resort, and student, Karen Thompson, were amongst those speaking, while 'The Great Fermanagh Flip Off' challenge also took place.
Ciaran McManus, South West College Assistant Chief Executive, opened the event by explaining the importance of the hospitality and catering industry in Fermanagh.
Ciaran said, ‘a significant proportion of people employed in Fermanagh work in hospitality and catering, and the training available at South West College is important in continuing to meet the needs of this industry. This apprenticeship scheme will be a significant part of that. As we prepare to move to our new Erne Campus, which features two industry standard kitchens, we will continue to work with our industry employers to provide the very best in hospitality and catering training.’
Catering apprenticeships offer students the opportunity to train both in a college environment and in an industry restaurant, learning skills and techniques but also gaining real workplace experience. Stephen Holland explained the importance of the training he received as a student at South West College.
‘Growing up, I always wanted to be a chef, and when the time came, studying at South West College was the obvious choice. The training I received eighteen years ago has stayed with me to this day. Without South West College none of the highlights of my career to date would have happened.’
After the speakers, guests had the opportunity to go up against current students and professional chefs in the ‘Great Fermanagh Flip Off’, a contest to see who could make the quickest pancake. Interested students also had the opportunity to discuss possible apprenticeships with industry employers and college tutors. More information can also be found by contacting: Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org