Hospitality Sheffield, in partnership with Sheffield College, has launched an initiative aimed at attracting school children to consider a career in hospitality.
The Spring Forward programme was kick-started with a visit by over 200 students, aged 14 and 15, from 11 of Sheffield's secondary schools to the city's hotels and venues.
From food and beverage and housekeeping to leisure and kitchen services, the students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes insight into what makes a hotel tick by taking part in activities including bed-making competitions, laying tables and baking bread.
Jon Broadhurst, one of the organisers of Spring Forward and general manager of Jurys Inn, said: "The two-day hospitality orientation has enabled the students to get a good grasp of how a hotel or venue operates, looking at housekeeping, catering, leisure services and event management.
"After the various activities the students were taken back to Sheffield College where they learnt about the courses and qualifications needed to get started on the hospitality ladder."
John Janiszewski, head of business development and hospitality at Sheffield College, said: "It's important to give young people a taste of the careers and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, available now within the catering and hospitality sector - especially during the current economic climate. The college catering department has a strong reputation locally and nationally, and is a founding member of Hospitality Sheffield. We are delighted to be able to support this initiative."
Ian Slater, chair of Hospitality Sheffield and general manager of the Park Inn, Sheffield, added: "This initiative is key to the future of Sheffield's tourism industry and by investing in the students of today we can ensure that this successful sector continues to grow and develop."
Hotels and venues taking part in Spring Forward include the Leopold hotel, Mercure Hotel & Spa, Park Inn, Hilton hotel, Cutlers hotel, Sheffield Hallam University, Premier Inn, Copthorne hotel, Holiday Inn Express and the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria.
By Janet Harmer
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