From education to employment

Harrison boss to oversee new qualification

Harrison Boss to Oversee New Qualification People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism, has appointed Geoffrey Harrison, managing director of Harrison Catering Services, as chair of its steering group for the new Diploma in Hospitality.

Geoffrey will lead the steering group in supporting schools, colleges, employers and other agencies involved in the delivery of the Diploma. He succeeds Mike Stapleton, former UK corporate affairs director at Compass UK, in the role.

The Diploma in Hospitality is being launched in schools and colleges this September. It combines theory with practical learning for 14 to 19 year-olds, to ensure that learners gain the skills, knowledge, and experience that hospitality businesses really need. It also achieves one of the hospitality industry’s long cherished ambitions – to see cooking back on the school curriculum – and is vital to promoting hospitality as an aspirational career path for young people.

On his appointment, Geoffrey commented: "The catering industry serves a broad spectrum of customers who, due to the rapid growth in interest in food and cooking, have never been more discerning. Therefore, a highly trained workforce is key to maximising our potential in this area and, most critically, encouraging the next generation to consider catering as a career.

"The Diploma in Hospitality provides an excellent, dynamic learning vehicle for young people, as well as opening their eyes to the wealth of career opportunities that are available to them in hospitality. My aim is for Diploma students to see hospitality as their career of choice."

Heather Taylor, Hospitality Diploma manager for People 1st, commented: "I am delighted that Geoffrey has agreed to chair the Diploma steering group. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and industry experience, having initially worked as a chef in a range of commercial restaurants before moving onto contact foodservice, and is committed to ensuring that the vision and intent of the Diploma is followed through to the learners’ experience.

"I would also like to thank Mike Stapleton for his continued commitment and support of the qualification from its very early days. The Diploma is a great example of joint cooperation and commitment between industry and education, and Mike’s input has been extremely valuable throughout the process."


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