Head of Derbyshire Experience Simon Brierley explained: "The learners did a great job at Christmas when we had 4,000 covers and they were a valuable part of the team. "There will be lots of opportunities during the summer cricket season when the learners will get a real feeling for the hospitality industry particularly on match days and will be involved in all aspects of the business here. "We need to train the next generation of hospitality employees and show them the career progression opportunities open to them. I hope that the experience they get here will be the start of an exciting career for the learners that could take them into management and working in top restaurants around the world."
Among the Academy learners is Georgina Hitchcock (17) and Jenna Roche (17). Georgina is a former pupil at Scargill School in Ilkeston. She said: "My goal is to work in events or hotel management and the experience I am getting here is invaluable. "It is good to gain additional experience outside College and working in the Engine Shed restaurant as it is far larger venue and we also get the opportunity to learn Silver Service skills. "This has given me much more confidence and hopefully that will show when I go for interviews for an apprenticeship or job after College. Jenna is a former pupil at Murray Park School. "I have always wanted to work in the travel industry and potentially on the airlines as cabin crew so it is really important that I get a good training in hospitality skills.
"Work experience is vital for my CV when applying for jobs so I am very grateful to get this chance through the Hospitality Academy at Derbyshire Cricket Club."
Derby College Business Director, April Hayhurst, explained that the Cricket Derbyshire Hospitality Academy had been launched alongside various other Employer Academies in response to identified skills gaps and growing job opportunities in the industry. "Hospitality is growing sectors both locally and nationally and is a key element of the visitor economy which is a key growth area in this area identified by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. "By working with employers such as Derbyshire Cricket Club we are shaping the curriculum to their needs and ensuring that students benefit from direct input from industry professionals in the workplace. The young people also gain valuable work experience and paid work opportunities – whether that is coaching young people or working at the county ground at events. "This approach ensures that our students develop both the technical knowledge and the skills and attitudes that employers need – addressing skills shortages in the workplace to help businesses and organisations grow. "It also ensures that our students are work-ready with the employability skills they need to get jobs and be successful in their future careers."
Ms Hayhurst continued that the hospitality sector in particular faced extensive skills shortages and that research had shown that, by 2020 the sector required more than half a million more staff. "We need to show young people that hospitality jobs are not just an opportunity for part time or student work but is a recognised career path with fantastic progression opportunities in a variety of work settings. "By working with Derbyshire CCC, our students will learn from industry professionals and have paid work that will help them to build their CVs for future careers."
Derbyshire CCC Commercial Director, Ryan Duckett, continued: "Having invested heavily in the conference and events facilities at The 3aaa County Ground, we are keen to ensure that the Derbyshire Experience for our customers is serviced by local staff. "Working with Derby College will ensure that we train and employ local people who are keen to enter the hospitality industry and provide them with the professional and social skills for them to succeed in the workplace."