From education to employment

Opening the doors to the Edge Hotel School

In April the hospitality industry gathered for the Edge Hotel School preview event, the first hotel school of its kind in the UK where students will be “learning by doing” as they study for fast track Foundation and BA (Hons.) degrees in Hotel Management and Culinary Management. Progress on the building and restoration of Wivenhoe House, due to be completed in July 2012, was unveiled in front of the cream of the hospitality industry at The Ritz, London.

At the event over 100 hospitality industry professionals heard how the Edge Hotel School will be training the hospitality leaders of the future; about the opportunities to recruit hotel school graduates and how to use the Edge Hotel School for the professional and academic development of their existing staff.

A partnership between the Edge Foundation, the University of Essex and its academic partner Kaplan, the Edge Hotel School, will be based at Wivenhoe House, Colchester within a Grade II* listed building. It will combine a luxurious country house hotel and innovative hotel school, where the future leaders of the hospitality industry will learn their profession.

Edge was delighted to announce sponsors of the school including: Laurent-Perrier, Milsoms Hotels, Exclusive Hotels, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, BaxterStorey and Portico. Previous press announcements include; the appointment of Executive Chef, Paul Boorman, student scholarships sponsored by the Savoy Educational Trust, while Churchill China will be providing all tableware.

Edge believes that engagement with the industry and potential employers is essential to the success of the hotel school, as well as to the students’ future careers. Such support has been kindly offered in the form of direct sponsorship, student bursaries and master classes. The courses are designed around work based practical learning which offers the opportunity to develop students’ skills whilst gaining the knowledge and leadership qualities within the working environment of a commercial hotel.

The students, who will be known as Student Practitioners will enrol in June, July and September 2012. There will then be 3 intakes of Student Practitioners per year. The course will run over a 45 week academic year divided into 3 x 15 week semesters. Student Practitioners will be organised in to Butlers Teams where they will experience every area of the hotel operation.

Facilities at Wivenhoe House include period suites and rooms, a new garden wing, a signature restaurant for more formal dining, a brasserie for informal dining, and conference facilities. The building itself has been restored as part of the £10 million investment in this project.

The formal opening will take place later in the year. The Edge Foundation is pleased to be supporting this innovative and exciting project and looks forward to seeing both the students and the hotel progress in the future.

Jan Hodges is chief executive of Edge, the independent education foundation dedicated to raising the status of technical, practical and vocational learning

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