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Aspire to Catering - Cornwall
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Cornwall Aspire to Catering project is designed to inspire young people to raise their attainment and be more ambitious in their approach to learning and their future careers. It also aims to support teachers by providing opportunities for them to collaborate with colleagues from France to work on developing a high quality and innovative approach to delivering hospitality training. Participants will be aged 16+ and enrolled on a vocational training course related to the hospitality industry. The majority will be from the catering and hospitality industry but some students with other associated skills used in the hospitality industry (e.g. bakery). This opportunity will be made available to sixty young people during the 2015 and 2017 period. This will be six trips taking between 6 and 12 young people each time to one of our three French partners. The young people we are recruiting have little experience of work or travel and need significant support for this reason the group will be accompanied for the full two weeks by two members of staff. The accompanying persons will be VET staff (2 per flow, a total of 12 VET Staff) and will undertake CPD by working with the French teachers for 50% of the time. They will also be responsible for supporting the students both practically and pastorally. An overview of the program - Over the course of 2 weeks learners will split their time between 50% learning in the French colleges with French students working on developing kitchen and front of house skills and 50% working on developing a real understanding of how restaurants, hotels and food producers operate by visiting local businesses, shadowing and having hands on practical coaching in real work settings. There will also be a programme of cultural activities. Further aims are to support the young person to increase confidence, widen horizons and be aware of other cultures and what we can contribute to each other. Similar projects we have run under the Leonardo Life Long Learning Programme have been highly valued by local employers and previous participants have gone on to senior positions within the hospitality sector both in this country and overseas. The project will be led by Cornwall Learning, the education support service of the Cornwall Unitary Council. Cornwall Learning will work with the consortium members (Truro & Penwith College, Cornwall College and The Seafood Restaurant ) who are already collaborating with us through strongly established partnerships and the three French partners Lycee LeParaclet, Lycee Fenelon and Lycee Francois Rabelais. The aims of the project are to supplement the training already received by the participants and to widen their vision towards working in a foreign country. This experience has been shown to expand the confidence of many of our recent students, their language skills have improved and they have learned to communicate better in their own environment. They have gained technical knowledge not possible from the local UK training places as they have seen methods of food production typical to the French area, different menus, worked with expensive and unfamiliar food products and experienced new learning and working systems. The project will support the local economy of Cornwall. Approximately, thirty five per cent of the local economy is directly or indirectly based on hospitality and tourism. The growing reputation of Cornwall for excellent locally sourced food is growing continually with its reputation attracting more local chefs to seek recognition through publicity and various rating schemes. It is therefore important that the county can produce trained people who have more than purely local experience. We expect our students to complete a short work experience diary of work undertaken. This will supplement their own studies and contribute to their final accreditation. Upon return the Trainer and Employer, with CLEBP assistance, will interview the student to clarify the experience and, if necessary, help them to document their learning. The learning experience will include pre-visit language lessons, cultural, technical and personal development skills. The Europass system will be used to give validation to the learning experiences and students will use the Europass language kit and to prepare a CV using the Europass model. Further dissemination will take place through Masterclass demonstrations and workshops delivered by the participants to other students, local employers and food producers. The achievements of students and staff will be celebrated in the media with newspaper reports, web features and submissions to the Erasmus+ Facebook page and blogs. VET Staff will collaborate with their UK based colleagues from all consortium partners to feedback what they have learned and implement a strategy to improve current vocational training methods but also to design a new approach, especially regarding Front of House training.

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