Charlotte is in her 6th year of school and is studying on the first year of the Hospitality and Tourism Academy.
She said: “I’m really enjoying the practical side of the Academy work, learning to work as part of a team. Our lecturers have been working with us to develop a wide range of skills – ones we will use in a restaurant, kitchen or working front of house. We’ve been developing lots of soft skills which we will be able to use in different jobs such as customer service and communication skills. The Academy helps you in so many different ways, and the skills that we are learning in hospitality and tourism will also help us in different aspects of our lives and in different job roles.
“Most of all, I think the Academy has helped me grow in confidence. At the beginning, there was so much to think about - taking orders, dealing with customers, trying to make things happen in a certain order and trying to remember everything. However, I can feel myself becoming more confident each week and now I’m more able to cope with all the things that are going on in the restaurant. We are getting the experience of interacting with new people and meeting members of the public – it’s a real confidence boost.
“I’m also enjoying other aspects of the Academy – seeing how everything fits together is all starting to make sense now. For example, we recently created new menus and had to consider the costs and quantities involved. It’s important to know quantities so that the correct amount of food can be ordered. It’s also important to use high quality ingredients.
“I’ve had the opportunity to put theory into practice during the practical restaurant sessions at Edinburgh College. We’ve worked as a team to create three course dinners for up to 40 people which has given us the opportunity to work in the kitchen and front of house. I’m looking forward to doing my alcohol training and gaining bar skills.
“I think the Hospitality and Tourism Academy is a great way for people to experience learning beyond the confines of school. As students, there is no doubt that it gives us an extra string to our bow. It’s improved my CV and I now have some real practical experience that I can draw on when I’m attending job or college interviews. I think I’ll feel more confident that I have some solid industry experience behind me when I’m applying for jobs or a place at college – I’ve got more to talk about.
“Having spent time undertaking the Academy programme I now know that working in the hospitality and tourism industry is a definite possibility for me. I am applying for college courses and I now have a much better understanding of the range of jobs and possibilities that are open to me. Maybe one day I’ll even own my own restaurant! Anything is possible!”
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