A priority for me at present is creating opportunities for young people. Speaking to two of my team (Danny and Richard) who both completed their catering NVQ’s at Sheffield College this year, it has really hit home the negative consequences this year has had on passionate young people pursuing a career in hospitality. With many hospitality employers not in a position to recruit, many young people wanting a career in the industry have been cast to one side. The opportunity I’d had at a young age is being taken away from people from a similar background to my own.
I was fortunate that when I was at catering college, I was able to get a part time job at Whitley Hall Hotel. As a working class lad from High Green, the experience I gained working at Whitely Hall gave me an insight into a world I’d never experienced before. From making sandwiches for lavish weddings to preparing whole turbot , dover sole and beef fillet for the fine dining restaurant, my time at Whitley was inspiring.
As we head into 2021, I want to create opportunities like the one I had for young people passionate about cooking and a career in hospitality. One partnership I’m particularly excited about is the one we’ve developed with Sheffield Wednesday Community Foundation this past year. Normally the foot ball club would provide placements to the young people who enroll on their training programme. However due to the pandemic, this hasn’t been possible so Blend Kitchen have been able to step in and help. So this week, Justin and Grace paid a visit to Hillsborough to meet with the young people who will be joining the team in the New Year.
We’re really excited about this partnership and the opportunities we’re able to create through it. You’ll see from the picture below that John and the team from Phoenix Kitchen’s have been busy installing the new kitchen equipment meaning we’ll be ready to start the training early in the new year.
Next week, we’ll be revealing some exciting news regarding a significant amount of funding we’ve secured to support this work so keep your eyes peeled to our Facebook and twitter this big announcement.
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