Hospitality skills fair is a hit

Students Kerri-Ann Long, 15, and Chelsea Fletcher, 14, with Portsmouth Marriott chef Midhum Rathi and general manager BJ Schreuder
Students Kerri-Ann Long, 15, and Chelsea Fletcher, 14, with Portsmouth Marriott chef Midhum Rathi and general manager BJ Schreuder
Yachts taking part in last years Clipper Round the World Race			             	  Picture: onEdition

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More than 190 students from secondary schools across The News region had a taste of the world of hospitality at a bustling careers fair.

Youngsters who attended the annual Hospitality Skills Fair last month learned about all the aspects of running a top hotel, from management to mixing cocktails and bedmaking and baking cupcakes.

The enthusiastic boys and girls were also advised about career opportunities in the hospitality industry and which courses to study at college, at the event hosted by the Marriott Hotel in Port Solent.

Representatives from big name brands including Marriott, Hilton, De Vere and Holiday Inn were joined by those from local hotels Lysses House Hotel in Fareham, The Langstone Hotel on Hayling Island and Solent Hotel and Spa in Whiteley to offer a variety of activities and demonstrations for their young audience to enjoy and learn from.

Bonnie Panteleeva, a Year 10 student at City of Portsmouth Girls’ School, says: ‘I loved this event. It really brings out skills used in hospitality.

‘I’m more likely to think about those careers now I’ve had a try.’

Grace Oyegbile, in the same year at St Edmund’s Catholic School, Landport, says: ‘I found the workshops very beneficial and enjoyable and would love to come back again next year.

The day was organised by the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Education Business Partnership (EBP) and also offered presentations from South Downs College, Tourism South East and career specialists Springboard.

B J Schreuder, general manager of the Marriott, says: ‘It was another successful event all round and hopefully there will be a few more recruits for the industry.

‘This has been an excellent event and well supported by the schools. Not only were the students engaged and joining in, the teachers were too. It was a pleasure to host the event this year.’

Denise Albon, a work-related learning co-ordinator at City of Portsmouth Girls’ School, adds: ‘It was a great event.

‘The students really enjoyed the interactive stands and got a good insight into what it might be like to work in a hotel.’

Jess Memery, EBP’s business development manager, says this year’s fair attracted the highest number of participants to date and thanked the event’s hosts and the Savoy Trust for helping with funding.