Riverside College students and local school pupils were given an insight into future career opportunities during a series of exciting events and activities; all in celebration of Visitor Economy Week 2017.
In conjunction with other further education providers across the Liverpool City region, Visitor Economy Week is designed to provide students with a taste of what life can be like working in hospitality, retail, travel and tourism; showcasing the variety of opportunities and diverse skills associated with the region’s growing visitor economy.
The inspirational week kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony at Mann Island in Liverpool, in which staff and students from the college were invited to witness talks from a number of guest speakers who are committed to investing in young people to help them realise their potential within the sector.
Events at Riverside College began with pupils from local schools Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College and Wade Deacon High School invited to the college to participate in a ‘Pancake Cook Off Challenge’ involving multi-coloured batter mixes and toppings. The pupils were able to learn new skills in preparation of Shrove Tuesday and learn about the range of catering courses the college can offer.
In celebration of VE Week, the menu at the college’s Scholars Restaurant was designed around the theme of Northwest Dishes. Catering students created a series of delicious courses including Bury Scotch Eggs, Lancashire Hotpot with Braised Red Cabbage, Cumberland Sausage with Wholegrain Mustard Mash and Onion Gravy, and Chester Steamed Pudding.
Catering students were treated to a chocolate making masterclass from award winning chocolatier Paul Williams, of Choc Amor. Paul discussed the art of chocolate making and demonstrated his talents by creating expertly tempered chocolate and deliciously different curry infused truffles. The students gained lots of valuable knowledge from the master chocolatier and discovered possible new career options for the future.
A masterclass also took place at Costa Coffee in Widnes where students learned the art of coffee making. The group had the opportunity to learn the tricks of the barista trade and learn about new specialist hospitality career pathways.
The highlight of the week took place on Thursday when Riverside College catering students took part in a luxurious gala dinner at the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool. Along with students from other Further Education colleges across the region, talented catering students Jason Biddulph and Lea Cousins helped prepare the menu for the busy event, creating delicate canapés and the delicious starter course of salmon and smoked mackerel.
The celebrations continued when students working in the Scholars Restaurant were supported by special guest Ian Brimelow, Executive Chef at Halton Borough Council. Ian provided the students with lots of support and knowledge that will assist them in the continuation of their studies and gave them an exciting insight into their chosen career sectors.
Several activities also took place in in college throughout the week to celebrate the event, including Visitor Economy Week themed biscuits being served, frosted flower demonstrations taking place by catering students, and students attended basic French classes to add another dimension to their CVs.
Joanna Leather, Centre of Excellence in Hospitality and Catering tutor said, “It has been a busy and exciting week celebrating Visitor Economy Week at college. The events have provided our students with lots of new skills and created brand new links within the local industry. I would like to thank the guest chefs and industry speakers who joined us this week to help offer our students the best experience and opportunities possible.”