Catering Forum Young Guns is back for a second year, on the lookout for two exceptional students.
Following the success of last year's competition, and with the continued support of Caterer & Hotelkeeper, Richmond Events, organiser of the Catering Forum (6-9 June), is searching for two of the best hospitality students in the country.
Catering Forum Young Guns is designed to acknowledge hospitality students who have excelled during their placement year, and in turn give credit to employers who offer a structured and valuable placement experience to the future lifeblood of the UK hospitality industry.
Last year's winners were Wendy Peacock and John Price, who had undertaken their placements with the Thistle and Marriott hotel groups respectively. As part of their prize, they were given the chance to attend the Catering Forum on board the MV Oriana for three nights and two days of unparalleled networking, and to take part in the lively conference programme.
Peacock comments: "It was scary, but at the same time terribly exciting to meet so many people who have already made it to where we want to be in the future. It was also really gratifying to discover that they cared about the way students get treated in this industry."
She was happy to get such a warm welcome. "Everyone was so down to earth and wanted to talk to us," she says. "The experience has really helped to give me confidence, and I'm sure it's helping me to handle job interviews now."
Price adds: "We found the conference programme particularly useful. It was interesting to see what the issues are that really worry senior people out in the industry. I was surprised by how many issues affect operators no matter what sector they are in. It also amazed me that the delegates were so open to discussing problems and sharing solutions."
Price is living proof that offering students a decent placement is the way to ensure that you can recruit your share of future talent. "I was lucky enough to get 10 serious job offers as a direct result of being at the Catering Forum," he says. "It was fantastic exposure to potential employers, but in the end I still took up my offer from Marriott, my placement company. They really know how to treat students."
Two catering and hospitality students will be offered an opportunity to attend the Catering Forum on board the MV Oriana from 6 to 9 June 2002.
Employers and tutors are invited to nominate students who have completed their placement in a UK hospitality business, and have excelled in terms of their attitude, communication skills, professional behaviour, technical ability, quality of work and management potential.
The two winners will be chosen from 10 finalists at a judging lunch at London restaurant Quaglino's on 23 April. Entrants must be able to attend this lunch and the Catering Forum. The judges will include: Anne Walker, managing director, Springboard UK; Forbes Mutch, editor, Caterer & Hotelkeeper; and John McKee, director, Richmond Events.
The prize includes travel to Southampton on Thursday 6 June to board the Oriana, accommodation, meals with wine, and return travel on Sunday 9 June.
To nominate a placement student, log on to www.cateringforum.com or call William Murray PR on 020 8256 1360 for a postal entry form. The closing date for entries is 29 March 2002. Full terms and conditions are outlined on the entry form.