College’s Hotel School among first to gain National Skills Academy status for Hospitality

City College Norwich’s highly regarded Hotel School received national recognition for the standard of its work last week in joining the small group of colleges to have earned National Skills Academy status for Hospitality. Representatives from the College’s Hotel School attended a special reception at the House of Commons last week to formally receive this important accreditation.

The College was one of four newly accredited colleges to be recognised, together with the four colleges who already have National Skills Academy Hospitality status. With more than 300 colleges in the UK offering catering courses City College Norwich are proud to be one the first eight colleges to receive this accreditation.

The National Skills Academy (NSA) is a network of employer-led, world-class centres of excellence delivering the skills required by each sector of the economy. The NSA standard was awarded in recognition of the whole range of hospitality and catering programmes the College delivers and its well-established links with local employers in the hospitality industry. The College has been at the forefront of the development of a new course and qualification for the hospitality industry, the Diploma in Professional Cookery, which provides the skills needed to work as a Professional Chef. In addition to its training for the hospitality industry, The Hotel School runs courses for all ages and levels of ability, including its successful Junior Chefs Academy and Progressions courses for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Steve Thorpe, Head of The Hotel School at City College Norwich received the award from Gordon Marsden MP, Chair of the All Party-Parliamentary Skills Group, at a reception in the Palace of Westminster. Invited guests also heard about the NSA’s future plans and campaigns, including management master classes and the Smiles of Britain campaign.

Sarah Giles, a student from The Hotel School was also present to collect the award. Sarah was one of the first students to graduate from Level three of the Diploma in Professional Cookery and has also taken part in cookery competitions and work experience whilst at City College Norwich, reaching the final of the Young Seafood Competition. This talented young chef now works at The Crown, in Wells, with Chris Coubrough, a local chef who works closely with the College. Sarah will be progressing on to the Foundation Degree in Culinary Arts at the College next year.

Head of the Hotel School, Steve Thorpe said: “This accreditation is recognition of the work we are already doing to prepare students for the world of work and give them the skills employers want. It will be recognised by employers from our industry. The Diploma in Professional Cookery is going to be the qualification of choice for professional chefs of the future and I am proud to have been involved with its development.”

City College Norwich Principal, Dick Palmer said: “We are delighted to be a member of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality. This accreditation is a true recognition of the excellence of our Hotel School and how we are meeting the local and national skills requirements for hospitality, leisure and tourism.”

David McHattie, Chief Executive of the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, said: “We are delighted to recognise City College Norwich for their excellence in the delivery of the Diploma in Professional Cookery. This is a testament to their hard work and success in delivering industry-leading hospitality training – producing the future talent industry requires. City College Norwich and the other 7 colleges are setting the standard for other colleges to aspire to.