From education to employment

Lake District hotel creates FE and career opportunities for local students

Lakeside Hotel & Spa is working with surrounding colleges to inspire students and offer a career path into the hospitality industry

Lakeside Hotel & Spa, the Classic Lodges hotel situated on the shore of Lake Windermere, is committing to creating hospitality career paths and opportunities for students in the North West through a series of conference days, work experience and practical training sessions alongside education.

Lakeside supports tourism, hospitality, catering and beauty students from Runshaw College, Blackburn College, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Furness College, Kendal College and Huddersfield University. A Management Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Cumbria is also on offer, which allows students to earn a full-time wage while studying towards a degree with no student debt.

The Lake District hotel currently has six full-time members of staff who have joined following work experience, placements or visiting for conferences, including a Graduate Manager from Huddersfield University, a Wedding and Events Coordinator and Front of House Assistant who both previously did work experience at the hotel through Lancaster and Morecambe College.

A chef’s path is also available, with Jack Kenyon recently completing his Level 3 City & Guilds at Kendal College alongside on-the-job learning in the Lakeside kitchens. Two more students are following suit studying towards Level 3 having completed their Level 2 Qualifications at Runshaw College.

The management team at Lakeside is looking to develop further career opportunities in the near future as relationships with local colleges and universities continue to strengthen. There are plans in the pipeline with universities in the North East and Liverpool along with local primary and secondary schools.

Kathy is a student at Blackburn College who attended a conference day this month ahead of her placement at Lakeside Hotel. She said:

“I am glad I went on the trip as it gave me an insight into the different routes I can take when I finish college. The kitchen was very organised, and the staff were nice and helpful. I am excited to start my placement here, it will help me learn and progress more.”

The hotel is part of the Lake District Hotel Association (LDHA), which has a three-year plan to raise the profile of the hospitality industry and of Cumbria as a place to live and work. General Manager, Ben Mayou, who started working in the hospitality industry as a teenager, serves as chair of this group which aims to inspire the next generation of hoteliers through close collaboration between hotel members and colleges.

“Young people bring so much energy and enthusiasm to hospitality settings, which is why it is so positive having them in the hotel whether it’s for permanent employment, placements, or just for the day,” Ben says. “Many of the students who visit have never been to the Lakes before and have been massively impacted by the pandemic, so it’s a great chance to show them that exciting opportunities do exist in the hospitality and tourism industry.

“It’s important for me to encourage them to step outside their comfort zone and to be brave and ‘take a punt’. We are looking forward to further developing our workplace entry programmes with more colleges and universities in the surrounding regions and welcoming more young people to Cumbria.”

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