SERC

A team of hospitality and catering Lecturers from South Eastern Regional College (@S_ERC) have been shortlisted for a Times Education Supplement (TES) FE Award 2021.

The team of eight - Ruth Doherty, Sheena Hunt, Brian Magill, Tom McCluney, Paul Monaghan, Ian Thompson, Thomas Turley, led by Deputy Head of School, Paul Mercer – have been selected finalist in the WorldSkills Hero award category in recognition of their commitment to give their students the opportunity to raise their technical standards and improve their soft skills set, by competing in internal, regional, and international competitions.

The Hospitality and Catering team have been visionary in their support for students’ competition preparation and promotion of WorldSkills Competitions often referred to as the ‘Olympics of skills’. Over the last 3 years 398 student have competed in campus, intercampus, regional and international competitions. Six students were finalist in the 2019 WorldSkills UK Live and the first time the College entered the Patisserie and Confectionery Competition 4 students were selected to compete in the 9 places with student Katie Graham awarded a Bronze Medal and Danny Bunphaung Highly Commended in Culinary Skills the following year.   Both students were asked to train for the UK Squad.

Paul Mercer, Deputy Head of School, said:

“Following attendance at WorldSkills Live in Birmingham in 2017 to determine the standard, the team implemented a programme to take students to the next level through a range of activities including participation in intercampus and external competitions in Glasgow, Jersey and London; introducing students to top chefs such as Michael Deal, Paul Rankin, Nick Narin and James Tanner; hosting WorldSkills heats in Restaurant Service, Confectionery and Culinary Arts and a Competitors Masterclass by Confectioner and Chocolatier Florian Poirot; and ensured students continued to gain experience during the pandemic by working with them to prepare 1250 dinners for the local community.

He added, “We are delighted to be shortlisted and it is testament to the dedication of the team and indeed the commitment of our students. This past year has been difficult for everyone and our focus at SERC has been keeping our students on track to achieve so they can progress to employment or further studies and be part of the recovery for the tourism and hospitality sector.”

The winners will be announced at virtual event at 8pm on Friday 28 May.

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